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Full text of "The outcry"

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THE OUTCRY 



BY THE SAME AUTHOR 

THE SOFT SIDE 
THE SACRED FOUNT 
THE BETTER SORT 
THE AMBASSADORS 
THE GOLDEN BOWL 
THE FINER GRAIN 



THE OUTCRY 



BY 

HENRY JAMES 



METHUEN & CO. LTD. 

36 ESSEX STREET W.C. 

LONDON 



First Published in 



BOOK FIRST 



THE OUTCRY 



NO, my lord," Banks had replied, " no 
stranger has yet arrived. But I'll see 
if any one has come in or who has." As he 
spoke, however, he observed Lady Sandgate's 
approach to the hall by the entrance giving 
upon the great terrace, and addressed her on her 
passing the threshold. " Lord John, my lady." 
With which, his duty majestically performed, 
he retired to the quarter that of the main 
access to the spacious centre of the house 
from which he had ushered the visitor. 

This personage, facing Lady Sandgate as 
she paused there a moment framed by the 
large doorway to the outer expanses, the small 
pinkish paper of a folded telegram in her hand, 
had partly before him, as an immediate effect, 
the high wide interior, still breathing the quiet 
air and the fair panelled security of the couple 

3 



4 THE OUTCRY 

of hushed and stored centuries, in which 
certain of the reputed treasures of Dedborough 
Place beautifully disposed themselves ; and 
then, through ample apertures and beyond the 
stately stone outworks of the great seated and 
supported house uplifting terrace, balanced, 
balustraded steps and containing basins where 
splash and spray were at rest all the rich 
composed extension of garden and lawn and 
park. An ancient, an assured elegance seemed 
to reign; pictures and preserved " pieces," 
cabinets and tapestries, spoke, each for itself, 
of fine selection and high distinction ; while the 
originals of the old portraits, in more or less 
deserved salience, hung over the happy scene 
as the sworn members of a great guild might 
have sat, on the beautiful April day, at one 
of their annual feasts. 

Such was the setting confirmed by generous 
time, but the handsome woman of considerably 
more than forty whose entrance had all but 
coincided with that of Lord John either 
belonged, for the eye, to no such complacent 
company or enjoyed a relation to it in which 
the odd twists and turns of history must have 
been more frequent than any dull avenue or 



THE OUTCRY 5 

easy sequence. Lady Sandgate was shiningly 
modern, and perhaps at no point more so 
than by the effect of her express repudiation 
of a mundane future certain to be more and 
more offensive to women of real quality and 
of formed taste. Clearly, at any rate, in her 
hands, the clue to the antique confidence 
had lost itself, and repose, however founded, 
had given way to curiosity that is to specula- 
tion however disguised. She might have 
consented, or even attained, to being but 
gracefully stupid, but she would presumably 
have confessed, if put on her trial for restless- 
ness or for intelligence, that she was, after all, 
almost clever enough to be vulgar. Unmistak- 
ably, moreover, she had still, with her fine 
stature, her disciplined figure, her cherished 
complexion, her bright important hair, her kind 
bold eyes and her large constant smile, the 
degree of beauty that might pretend to put 
every other question by. 

Lord John addressed her as with a signifi- 
cant manner that he might have had that of 
a lack of need, or even of interest, for any 
explanation about herself : it would have been 
clear that he was apt to discriminate with 



6 THE OUTCRY 

sharpness among possible claims on his atten- 
tion. " I luckily find you at least, Lady 
Sandgate they tell me Theign's off some- 
where." 

She replied as with the general habit, on her 
side, of bland reassurance ; it mostly had easier 
consequences for herself than the perhaps 
more showy creation of alarm. " Only off 
in the park open to-day for a school-feast from 
Dedborough, as you may have made out from 
the avenue ; giving good advice, at the top 
of his lungs, to four hundred and fifty 
children." 

It was such a scene, and such an aspect of 
the personage so accounted for, as Lord John 
could easily take in, and his recognition 
familiarly smiled. " Oh, he's so great on 
such occasions that I'm sorry to be missing 



it." 



"I've had to miss it," Lady Sandgate sighed 
"that is to miss the peroration. I've just 
left them ; but he had even then been going on 
for twenty minutes ; and I dare say that if you 
care to take a look you'll find him, poor dear 
victim of duty, still at it." 

"I'll warrant for, as I often tell him, he 



THE OUTCRY 7 

makes the idea of one's duty an awful thing 
to his friends by the extravagance with which 
he always overdoes it." And the image itself 
appeared in some degree to prompt this par- 
ticular edified friend to look at his watch and 
consider. " I should like to come in for the 
grand finale, but I rattled over in a great 
measure to meet a party, as he calls himself 
and calls, if you please, even me ! who's 
motoring down by appointment and whom I 
think I should be here to receive ; as well as a 
little, I confess, in the hope of a glimpse of 
Lady Grace : if you can perhaps imagine 
that ! " 

"I can imagine it perfectly," said Lady 
Sandgate, whom evidently no perceptions of 
that general order ever cost a strain. "It 
quite sticks out of you, and every one moreover 
has for some time past been waiting to see. 
But you haven't then," she added, " come from 
town ? " 

" No, I'm for three days at Chanter with my 
mother ; whom, as she kindly lent me her car, 
I should have rather liked to bring." 

Lady Sandgate left the unsaid, in this con- 
nection, languish no longer than was decent. 



8 THE OUTCRY 

" But whom you doubtless had to leave, by her 
preference, just settling down to bridge." 

" Oh, to sit down would imply that my mother 
at some moment of the day gets up ! " 

"Which the Duchess never does?" Lady 
Sandgate only asked to be allowed to show 
how she saw it. " She fights to the last, in- 
vincible ; gathering in the spoils and only rout- 
ing her friends ? " She abounded genially in 
her privileged vision. " Ah yes we know 
something of that ! " 

Lord John, who was a young man of a 
rambling but not of an idle eye, fixed her an 
instant with a surprise that was yet not steeped 
in compassion. " You too then ? " 

She wouldn't, however, too meanly narrow 
it down. "Well, in this house generally; 
where I'm so often made welcome, you see, 
and where " 

"Where," he broke in at once, "your jolly 
good footing quite sticks out of you, perhaps 
you'll let me say ! " 

She clearly didn't mind his seeing her ask 
herself how she should deal with so much 
rather juvenile intelligence ; and indeed she 
could only decide to deal quite simply. "You 



THE OUTCRY 9 

can't say more than I feel and am proud 
to feel at being of comfort when they're 
worried." 

This but fed the light flame of his easy per- 
ception which lighted for him, if she would, 
all the facts equally. " And they're worried 
now, you imply, because my terrible mother is 
capable of heavy gains and of making a great 
noise if she isn't paid ? I ought to mind 
speaking of that truth," he went on as with a 
practised glance in the direction of delicacy ; 
"but I think I should like you to know that I 
myself am not a bit ignorant of why it has 
made such an impression here." 

Lady Sandgate forestalled his knowledge. 
" Because poor Kitty Imber who should 
either never touch a card or else learn to suffer 
in silence, as I've had to, goodness knows! 
has thrown herself, with her impossible big 
debt, upon her father ? whom she thinks her- 
self entitled to ' look to ' even more as a lovely 
young widow with a good jointure than she 
formerly did as the mere most beautiful 
daughter at home." 

She had put the picture a shade interroga- 
tively, but this was as nothing to the note of 



TO THE OUTCRY 

free inquiry in Lord John's reply. "You 
mean that our lovely young widows to say 
nothing of lovely young wives ought by this 
time to have made out, in predicaments, how to 
turn round ? " 

His temporary hostess, even with his eyes 
on her, appeared to decide after a moment not 
wholly to disown his thought. But she smiled 
for if. " Well, in that set ! " 

" My mother's set ?" However, if she could 
smile he could laugh. " I'm much obliged ! " 

"Oh," she qualified, "I don't criticise her 
Grace ; but the ways and traditions and tone of 
this house " 

" Make it" he took her sense straight from 
her " the house in England where one feels 
most the false note of a dishevelled and bank- 
rupt elder daughter breaking in with a list of 
her gaming debts to say nothing of others ! 
and wishing to have at least those wiped out in 
the interest of her reputation ? Exactly so," 
he went on before she could meet it with a 
diplomatic ambiguity ; " and just that, I assure 
you, is a large part of the reason I like to come 
here since I personally don't come with any 
such associations." 



THE OUTCRY n 

" Not the association of bankruptcy no ; as 
you represent the payee ! " 

The young man appeared to regard this 
imputation for a moment almost as a liberty 
taken. "How do you know so well, Lady 
Sandgate, what I represent ? " 

She bethought herself but briefly and 
bravely. "Well, don't you represent, by your 
own admission, certain fond aspirations ? Don't 
you represent the belief very natural, I grant 
that more than one perverse and extravagant 
flower will be unlikely on such a fine healthy 
old stem ; and, consistently with that, the hope 
of arranging with our admirable host here that 
he shall lend a helpful hand to your commend- 
ing yourself to dear Grace ? " 

Lord John might, in the light of these words, 
have felt any latent infirmity in such a pre- 
tension exposed ; but as he stood there facing 
his chances he would have struck a spectator 
as resting firmly enough on some felt residuum 
of advantage : whether this were cleverness or 
luck, the strength of his backing or that of his 
sincerity. Even with the young woman to 
whom our friends' reference thus broadened 

still a vague quantity for us, you would have 
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY 



12 THE OUTCRY 

taken his sincerity as quite possible and this 
despite an odd element in him that you might 
have described as a certain delicacy of brutality. 
This younger son of a noble matron recognised 
even by himself as terrible enjoyed in no im- 
mediate or aggressive manner any imputable 
private heritage or privilege of arrogance. He 
would on the contrary have irradiated fineness 
if his lustre hadn't been a little prematurely 
dimmed. Active yet insubstantial, he was 
slight and short and a trifle too punctually, 
though not yet quite lamentably, bald. 
Delicacy was in the arch of his eyebrow, 
the finish of his facial line, the economy of 
" treatment " by which his negative nose had 
been enabled to look important and his meagre 
mouth to smile its spareness away. He had 
pleasant but hard little eyes they glittered, 
handsomely, without promise and a neatness, 
a coolness and an ease, a clear instinct for 
making point take, on his behalf, the place of 
weight and immunity that of capacity, which 
represented somehow the art of living at a 
high pitch and yet at a low cost. There was 
that in his satisfied air which still suggested 
sharp wants and this was withal the ambiguity ; 



THE OUTCRY 13 

for the temper of these appetites or views was 
certainly, you would have concluded, not such 
as always to sacrifice to form. If he really, for 
instance, wanted Lady Grace, the passion or 
the sense of his interest in it would scarce have 
been considerately irritable. 

" May I ask what you mean," he inquired 
of Lady Sandgate, "by the question of my 
' arranging ' ? " 

" I mean that you're the very clever son of 
a very clever mother." 

"Oh, I'm less clever than you think," he 
replied "if you really think it of me at all; 
and mamma's a good sight cleverer ! " 

" Than I think ? " Lady Sandgate echoed. 
" Why, she's the person in all our world I 
would gladly most resemble for her general 
ability to put what she wants through." But 
she at once added : " That is if- ! " pausing 
on it with a smile. 

"If what then?" 

"Well, if I could be absolutely certain to 
have all her kinds of cleverness without ex- 
ception and to have them," said Lady Sand- 
gate, "to the very end." 

He definitely, he almost contemptuously 



i 4 THE OUTCRY 

declined to follow her. " The very end of 
what ? " 

She took her choice as amid all the wonder- 
ful directions there might be, and then seemed 
both to risk and to reserve something. " Say 
of her so wonderfully successful general career." 

It doubtless, however, warranted him in 
appearing to cut insinuations short. "When 
you're as clever as she you'll be as good." To 
which he subjoined : " You don't begin to have 
the opportunity of knowing how good she is." 
This pronouncement, to whatever comparative 
obscurity it might appear to relegate her, his 
interlocutress had to take he was so prompt 
with a more explicit challenge. "What is 
it exactly that you suppose yourself to 
know ? " 

Lady Sandgate had after a moment, in her 
supreme good humour, decided to take every- 
thing. " I always proceed on the assumption 
that I know everything, because that makes 
people tell me." 

" It wouldn't make me" he quite rang out, 
"if I didn't want to! But as it happens," he 
allowed, " there's a question it would be con- 
venient to me to put to you. You must be, 



THE OUTCRY 15 

with your charming unconventional relation 
with him, extremely in Theign's confidence.'' 

She waited a little as for more. "Is that 
your question whether I am ? " 

" No, but if you are you'll the better answer it." 

She had no objection then to answering it 
beautifully. " We're the best friends in the 
world ; he has been really my providence, as a 
lone woman with almost nobody and nothing of 
her own, and I feel my footing here, as so 
frequent and yet so discreet a visitor, simply 
perfect. But I'm happy to say that for my 
pleasure when I'm really curious this doesn't 
close to me the sweet resource of occasionally 
guessing things." 

"Then I hope you've ground for believing 
that if I go the right way about it he's likely to 
listen to me." 

Lady Sandgate measured her ground which 
scarce seemed extensive. "The person he 
most listens to just now and in fact at any 
time, as you must have seen for yourself is that 
arch-tormentor, or at least beautiful wheedler, 
his elder daughter." 

"Lady Imber's here?" Lord John alertly 
asked. 



16 THE OUTCRY 

" She arrived last night and as we've other 
visitors seems to have set up a side-show in 
the garden." 

" Then she'll ' draw ' of course immensely, as 
she always does. But her sister won't be in 
that case with her," the young man supposed. 

"Because Grace feels herself naturally an 
independent show ? So she well may," said 
Lady Sandgate, "but I must tell you that 
when I last noticed them there Kitty was in 
the very act of leading her away." 

Lord John figured it a moment. " Lady 
Imber" he ironically enlarged the figure 
"can lead people away." 

"Oh, dear Grace," his companion returned, 
" happens fortunately to be firm ! " 

This seemed to strike him for a moment as 
equivocal. " Not against me, however you 
don't mean ? You don't think she has a 
beastly prejudice ?" 

" Surely you can judge about it ; as know- 
ing best what may or what mayn't have 
happened between you." 

"Well, I try to judge" and such candour 
as was possible to Lord John seemed to sit 
for a moment on his brow. " But I'm in 



THE OUTCRY 17 

fear of seeing her too much as I want to see 
her." 

There was an appeal in it that Lady 
Sandgate might have been moved to meet. 
' ' Are you absolutely in earnest about her ? " 

"Of course I am why shouldn't I be? 
But," he said with impatience, " I wan* 
help." 

" Very well then, that's what Lady Imber's 
giving you." And as it appeared to take him 
time to read into these words their full sense, 
she produced others, and so far did help him 
though the effort was in a degree that of her 
exhibiting with some complacency her own 
unassisted control of stray signs and shy lights. 
" By telling her, by bringing it home to her, 
that if she'll make up her mind to accept you 
the Duchess will do the handsome thing. 
Handsome, I mean, by Kitty." 

Lord John, appropriating for his convenience 
the truth in this, yet regarded it as open to a 
becoming, an improving touch from himself. 
" Well, and by me" To which he added, with 
more of a challenge in it : " But you really 
know what my mother will do ? " 

" By my system," Lady Sandgate smiled, 



1 8 THE OUTCRY 

"you see I've guessed. What your mother 
will do is what brought you over ! " 

"Well, it's that," he allowed "and some- 
thing else. 

"Something else?" she derisively echoed. 

I should think 'that,' for an ardent lover 
would have been enough." 

" Ah, but it's all one job ! I mean it's one 
idea," he hastened to explain " if you think 
Lady Imber's really acting on her." 

" Mightn't you go and see ? " 

" I would in a moment if I hadn't to look 
out for another matter too." And he renewed 
his attention to his watch. " I mean getting 
straight at my American, the party I just 
mentioned 

But she had already taken him up. "You 
too have an American and a ' party, ' and yours 
also motors down ? " 

"Mr. Breckenridge Bender." Lord John 
named him with a shade of elation. 

She gaped at the fuller light. "You know 
my Breckenridge ? who I hoped was coming 
for me ! " 

Lord John as freely, but more gaily, wondered. 
" Had he told you so ? " 



THE OUTCRY 19 

She held out, opened, the telegram she had 
kept folded in her hand since her entrance. 
" He has sent me that which, delivered to me 
ten minutes ago out there, has brought me in 
to receive him." 

The young man read out this missive. " ' Fail- 
ing to find you in Bruton Street, start in pursuit 
and hope to overtake you about four.' " It did 
involve an ambiguity. "Why, he has been 
engaged these three days to coincide with 
myself, and not to fail of him has been part of 
my business." 

Lady Sandgate, in her demonstrative way, 
appealed to the general rich scene. " Then 
why does he say it's me he's pursuing ? " 

He seemed to recognise promptly enough in 
her the sense of a menaced monopoly. " My 
dear lady, he's pursuing expensive works of 
art." 

" By which you imply that I'm one?" She 
might have been wound up by her disappoint- 
ment to almost any irony. 

"I imply or rather I affirm that every 
handsome woman is ! But what he arranged 
with me about," Lord John explained, "was 
that he should see the Dedborough pictures in 



20 THE OUTCRY 

general and the great Sir Joshua in particular 
of which he had heard so much and to which 
I've been thus glad to assist him." 

This news, however, with its lively interest, 
but deepened the listener's mystification. 
"Then why this whole week that I've been 
in the house hasn't our good friend here 
mentioned to me his coming ? " 

" Because our good friend here has had no 
reason " Lord John could treat it now as 
simple enough. "Good as he is in all ways, 
he's so best of all about showing the house and 
its contents that I haven't even thought neces- 
sary to write him that I'm introducing 
Breckenridge." 

" I should have been happy to introduce 
him," Lady Sandgate just quavered " if I had 
at all known he wanted it." 

Her companion weighed the difference 
between them and appeared to pronounce it 
a trifle he didn't care a fig for. " I surrender 
you that privilege then of presenting him to 
his host if I've seemed to you to snatch it 
from you." To which Lord John added, as 
with liberality unrestricted, " But I've been 
taking him about to see what's worth while 



THE OUTCRY 21 

as only last week to Lady Lappington's 
Longhi." 

This revelation, though so casual in its 
form, fairly drew from Lady Sandgate, as she 
took it in, an interrogative wail. "Her 
Longhi?" 

" Why, don't you know her great Venetian 
family group, the What-do-you-call-'ems ? 
seven full-length figures, each one a gem, for 
which he paid her her price before he left the 
house." 

She could but make it more richly re- 
sound almost stricken, lost in her wistful 
thought : " Seven full-length figures ? Her 
price ? " 

" Eight thousand slap down. Bender 
knows," said Lord John, " what he wants." 

' 'And does he want only" her wonder 
grew and grew " * What-do-you-call-'ems ' ? " 

"He most usually wants what he can't 
have." Lord John made scarce more of it 
than that. " But, awfully hard up as I fancy 
her, Lady Lappington went at him." 

It determined in his friend a boldly critical 
attitude. "How horrible at the rate things 
are leaving us ! " But this was far from the 



22 THE OUTCRY 

end of her interest. "And is that the way he 
pays?" 

" Before he leaves the house ? " Lord John 
lived it amusedly over. " Well, she took care 
of that." 

" How incredibly vulgar!" It all had, 
however, for Lady Sandgate, still other con- 
nectionswhich might have attenuated Lady 
Lappington's case, though she didn't glance at 
this. "He makes the most scandalous eyes 
the ruffian ! at my great-grandmother." And 
then as richly to enlighten any blankness : 
' 'My tremendous Lawrence, don't you know? 
in her wedding-dress, down to her knees ; 
with such extraordinarily speaking eyes, such 
lovely arms and hands, such wonderful flesh- 
tints : universally considered the masterpiece 
of the artist." 

Lord John seemed to look a moment not so 
much at the image evoked, in which he wasn't 
interested, as at certain possibilities lurking 
behind it. " And are you going to sell the 
masterpiece of the artist ? " 

She held her head high. "I've indig- 
nantly refused for all his pressing me so 
hard." 



THE OUTCRY *$ 

" Yet that's what he nevertheless pursues 
you to-day to keep up ? " 

The question had a little the ring of those of 
which the occupant of a witness-box is mostly 
the subject, but Lady Sandgate was so far as 
this went an imperturbable witness " I need 
hardly fear it perhaps if in the light of what 
you tell me of your arrangement with him 
his pursuit becomes, where I am concerned, a 
figure of speech/' 

"Oh," Lord John returned, "he kills two 
birds with one stone he sees both Sir Joshua 
and you." 

This version of the case had its effect, for 
the moment, on his fair associate. " Does he 
want to buy their pride and glory ? " 

The young man, however, struck on his 
own side, became at first but the bright re- 
flector of her thought. "Is that wonder for 
sale?" 

She closed her eyes as with the shudder 
of hearing such words. " Not, surely, by 
any monstrous chance! Fancy dear, proud 
Theign ! " 

" I can't fancy him no!" And Lord John 
appeared to renounce the effort. , " But a cat 



24 THE OUTCRY 

may look at a king and a sharp funny Yankee 
at anything." 

These things might be, Lady Sandgate's 
face and gesture apparently signified ; but 
another question diverted her. " You're clearly 
a wonderful showman, but do you mind my 
asking you whether you're on such an occasion 
a well, a closely-interested one ? " 

" ' Interested ' ? " he echoed ; though it wasn't 
to gain time, he showed, for he would in that 
case have taken more. "To the extent, you 
mean, of my little percentage ? " And then as 
in silence she but kept a slightly grim smile on 
him: "Why do you ask if with your high 
delicacy about your great-grandmother you've 
nothing to place ? " 

It took her a minute to say, while her fine 
eye only rolled ; but when she spoke that 
organ boldly rested and the truth vividly 
appeared. " I ask because people like you, 
Lord John, strike me as dangerous to the 
how shall I name it ? the common weal ; and 
because of my general strong feeling that 
we don't want any more of our national 
treasures (for I regard my great-grandmother 
as national) to be scattered about the world." 






THE OUTCRY 25 

" There's much, in this country and age," 
he replied in an off-hand manner, "to be said 
about that?' The present, however, was not 
the time to say it all ; so he said something 
else instead, accompanying this with a smile 
that signified sufficiency. "To my friends, 
I need scarcely remark to you, I'm all the 
friend." 

She had meanwhile seen the butler reappear 
by the door that opened to the terrace, and 
though the high, bleak, impersonal approach of 
this functionary was ever, and more and more 
at every step, a process to defy interpretation, 
long practice evidently now enabled her to 
suggest, as she turned again to her fellow- 
visitor, a reading of it. "It's the friend then 
clearly who's wanted in the park." 

She might, by the ,way Banks looked at 
her, have snatched from his hand a missive 
addressed to another ; though while he 
addressed himself to her companion he allowed 
for her indecorum sufficiently to take it up 
where she had left it. " By her ladyship, my 
lord, who sends to hope you'll join them below 
the terrace." 

" Ah, Grace hopes," said Lady Sandgate 



26 THE OUTCRY 

for the young man's encouragement. "There 
you are ! " 

Lord John took up the motor- cap he had 
laid down on coming in. "I rush to Lady 
Grace, but don t demoralise Bender!" And 
he went forth to the terrace and the gardens. 

Banks looked about as for some further 
exercise of his high function. "Will you 
have tea, my lady ? " 

This appeared to strike her as premature. 
" Oh, thanks when they all come in." 

" They'll scarcely all, my lady " he indi- 
cated respectfully that he knew what he was 
talking about. " There's tea in her ladyship's 
tent ; but," he qualified, " it has also been 
ordered for the saloon." 

"Ah then," she said cheerfully, "Mr. 
Bender will be glad ! " And she became 
with this, aware of the approach of another 
visitor. Banks considered, up and down, the 
gentleman ushered in, at the left, by the 
footman, who had received him at the main 
entrance to the house. " Here he must be, 
my lady." With which he retired to the 
spacious opposite quarter, where he vanished, 
while the footman, his own office performed, 



THE OUTCRY 27 

retreated as he had come, and Lady Sandgate, 
all hospitality, received the many-sided author 
of her specious telegram, of Lord John's 
irritating confidence and of Lady Lappington's 
massive cheque. 



II 



HAVING greeted him with an explicitly 
gracious welcome and both hands out, she 
had at once gone on : " You'll of course have 
tea? in the saloon." 

But his mechanism seemed of the type 
that has to expand and revolve before sound- 
ing. " Why, the very first thing ? " 

She only desired, as her laugh showed, to 
accommodate. " Ah, have it the last if you 
like ! " 

"You see your English teas !" he pleaded 
as he looked about him, so immediately and 
frankly interested in the place and its contents 
that his friend could only have taken this for 
the very glance with which he must have 
swept Lady Lappington's inferior scene. 

" They're too much for you ? " 



28 THE OUTCRY 

"Well, they're too many. I think I've had 
two or three on the road at any rate my 
man did. I like to do business before " 
But his sequence dropped as his eye caught 
some object across the wealth of space. 

She divertedly picked it up. " Before tea, 
Mr. Bender?" 

" Before everything, Lady Sandgate." He 
was immensely % genial, but a queer, quaint, 
rough-edged distinctness somehow kept it 
safe for himself. 

"Then you've come to do business?" Her 
appeal and her emphasis melted as into a 
caress which, however, spent itself on his 
large high person as he consented, with less 
of demonstration but more of attention, to look 
down upon her. She could therefore but 
reinforce it by an intenser note. " To tell me 
you will treat ? " 

Mr. Bender had six feet of stature and an 
air as of having received benefits at the hands 
of fortune. Substantial, powerful, easy, he 
shone as with a glorious cleanness, a supplied 
and equipped and appointed sanity and 
security ; aids to action that might have 
figured a pair of very ample wings wide 



THE OUTCRY 29 

pinions for the present conveniently folded, 
but that he would certainly on occasion agitate 
for great efforts and spread for great flights. 
These things would have made him quite an 
admirable, even a worshipful, image of full- 
blown life and character, had not the affirma- 
tion and the emphasis halted in one important 
particular. Fortune, felicity, nature, the 
perverse or interfering old fairy at his 
cradle-side whatever the ministering power 
might have been had simply overlooked and 
neglected his vast wholly-shaven face, which 
thus showed not so much for perfunctorily 
scamped as for not treated, as for neither 
formed nor fondled nor finished, at all. 
Nothing seemed to have been done for 
it but what the razor and the sponge, 
the tooth-brush and the looking-glass could 
officiously do ; it had in short resisted any 
possibly finer attrition at the hands of fifty 
years of offered experience. It had developed 
on the lines, if lines they could be called, of 
the mere scoured and polished and initialled 
" mug " rather than to any effect of a composed 
physiognomy ; though we must at the same 
time add that its wearer carried this feature- 



30 THE OUTCRY 

less disk as with the warranted confidence that 
might have attended a warning headlight or a 
glaring motor-lamp. The object, however one 
named it, showed you at least where he was, 
and most often that he was straight upon you. 
It was fearlessly and resistingly across the 
path of his advance that Lady Sandgate had 
thrown herself, and indeed with such success 
that he soon connected her demonstration 
with a particular motive. " For your grand- 
mother, Lady Sandgate ? " he then re- 
turned. 

" For my grandmother's mother, Mr. Bender 
the most beautiful woman of her time and 
the greatest of all Lawrences, no matter 
whose ; as you quite acknowledged, you know, 
in our talk in Bruton Street." 

Mr. Bender bethought himself further yet 
drawing it out ; as if the familiar fact of his 
being "made up to" had never had such 
special softness and warmth of pressure. " Do 
you want very, very much ? " 

She had already caught him up. " ' Very, 
very much' for her? Well, Mr. Bender," she 
smilingly replied, " I think I should like her 
full value." 



THE OUTCRY 31 

" I mean" he kindly discriminated "do 
you want so badly to work her off ? " 

"It would be an intense convenience to me 
so much so that your telegram made me at 
once fondly hope you'd be arriving to conclude." 

Such measure of response as he had good- 
naturedly given her was the mere frayed edge 
of a mastering detachment, the copious, 
impatient range elsewhere of his true attention. 
Somehow, however, he still seemed kind even 
while, turning his back upon her, he moved off 
to look at one of the several, the famous 
Dedborough pictures stray specimens, by 
every presumption, lost a little in the whole 
bright bigness. " ' Conclude ' ? " he echoed 
as he approached a significantly small canvas. 
" You ladies want to get there before the road's 
so much as laid or the country's safe ! Do 
you know what this here is ? " he at once went 
on. 

"Oh, you can't have that!" she cried as 
with full authority "and you must really 
understand that you can't have everything. 
You mustn't expect to ravage Dedborough." 

He had his nose meanwhile close to the 
picture. " I guess it's a bogus Cuyp but I 



32 THE OUTCRY 

know Lord Theign has things. He won't do 
business ? " 

" He's not in the least, and can never be, in 
my tight place," Lady Sandgate replied; "but 
he's as proud as he's kind, dear man, and as 
solid as he's proud ; so that if you came down 
under a different impression !" Well, she 
could only exhale the folly of his error with an 
unction that represented, whatever he might 
think of it, all her competence to answer for 
their host. 

He scarce thought of it enough, on any side, 
however, to be diverted from prior dispositions. 
" 1 came on an understanding that I should 
find my friend Lord John, and that Lord 
Theign would, on his introduction, kindly let 
me look round. But being before lunch in 
Bruton Street I knocked at your door " 

" For another look," she quickly interposed, 
" at my Lawrence ? " 

" For another look at you, Lady Sandgate 
your great-grandmother wasn't required. 
Informed you were here, and struck with the 
coincidence of my being myself presently due," 
he went on, " I despatched you my wire, on 
coming away, just to keep up your spirits." 



THE OUTCRY 33 

" You dorit keep them up, you depress them 
to anguish," she almost passionately protested, 
" when you don't tell me you'll treat ! " 

He paused in his preoccupation, his per- 
ambulation, conscious evidently of no reluct- 
ance that was worth a scene with so charming 
and so hungry a woman. "Well, if it's a 
question of your otherwise suffering torments, 
may I have another interview with the old 
lady?" 

" Dear Mr. Bender, she's in the flower of her 
youth ; she only yearns for interviews, and you 
may have," Lady Sandgate earnestly declared, 
"as many as you like." 

" Oh, you must be there to protect me ! " 

" Then as soon as I return ! " 

"Well," it clearly cost him little to say 
"I'll come right round." 

She joyously registered the vow. "Only 
meanwhile then, please, never a word ! " 

" Never a word, certainly. But where all 
this time," Mr. Bender asked, "is Lord John?" 

Lady Sandgate, as he spoke, found her eyes 
meeting those of a young woman who, present- 
ing herself from without, stood framed in the 
doorway to the terrace ; a slight fair grave 



34 THE OUTCRY 

young woman, of middle stature and simply 
dressed, whose brow showed clear even under 
the heavy shade of a large hat surmounted with 
big black bows and feathers. Her eyes had 
vaguely questioned those of her elder, who at 
once replied to the gentleman forming the 
subject of their inquiry: " Lady Grace must 
know." At this the young woman came for- 
ward, and Lady Sandgate introduced the 
visitor. " My dear Grace, this is Mr. Brecken- 
ridge Bender." 

The younger daughter of the house might 
have arrived in preoccupation, but she had 
urbanity to spare. " Of whom Lord John has 
told me," she returned, "and whom I'm glad 
to see. Lord John," she explained to his 
waiting friend, " is detained a moment in the 
park, open to-day to a big Temperance school- 
feast, where our party is mostly gathered ; so 
that if you care to go out ! " She gave him 
in fine his choice. 

But this was clearly a thing that, in the 
conditions, Mr. Bender wasn't the man to take 
precipitately ; though his big useful smile dis- 
guised his prudence. "Are there any pictures 
in the park ? " 



THE OUTCRY 35 

Lady Grace's facial response represented 
less humour perhaps, but more play. " We 
find our park itself rather a picture." 

Mr. Bender's own levity at any rate persisted. 
11 With a big Temperance school-feast ? " 

" Mr. Bender's a great judge of pictures," 
Lady Sandgate said as to forestall any impres- 
sion of excessive freedom. 

"Will there be more tea?" he pursued, 
almost presuming on this. 

It showed Lady Grace for comparatively 
candid and literal. "Oh, there'll be plenty of 
tea." 

This appeared to determine Mr. Bender. 
"Well, Lady Grace, I'm after pictures, but I 
take them 'neat.' May I go right round 
here ? " 

" Perhaps, love," Lady Sandgate at once 
said, "you'll let me show him." 

"A moment, dear" Lady Grace gently 
demurred. "Do go round," she conformably 
added to Mr. Bender; "take your ease and 
your time. Everything's open and visible, 
and, with our whole company dispersed, you'll 
have the place to yourself." 

He rose, in his genial mass, to the oppor- 



36 THE OUTCRY 

tunity. "I'll be in clover sure!" But 
present to him was the richest corner of the 
pasture, which he could fluently enough name. 
"And I'll find 'The Beautiful Duchess of 
Waterbridge'?" 

She indicated, off to the right, where a 
stately perspective opened, the quarter of the 
saloon to which we have seen Mr. Banks retire. 
" At the very end of those rooms." 

He had wide eyes for the vista. " About 
thirty in a row, hey ? " And he was already 
off. "I'll work right through ! " 



III 



LEFT with her friend, Lady Grace had a 
prompt question. " Lord John warned me he 
was ' funny ' ; but you already know him ? " 

There might have been a sense of embarrass- 
ment in the way in which, as to gain time, 
Lady Sandgate pointed, instead of answering, 
to the small picture pronounced upon by Mr. 
Bender. " He thinks your little Cuyp a 
fraud." 



THE OUTCRY 37 

" That one ? " Lady Grace could but stare. 
" The wretch ! " However, she made, without 
alarm, no more of it ; she returned to her 
previous question. " You've met him before ? " 

"Just a little in town. Being 'after 
pictures,' " Lady Sandgate explained, " he has 
been after my great -grand mother." 

"She," said Lady Grace with amusement, 
"must have found him funny! But he can 
clearly take care of himself, while Kitty takes 
care of Lord John, and while you, if you'll be 
so good, go back to support father in the 
hour of his triumph : which he wants you so 
much to witness that he complains of your 
desertion and goes so far as to speak of you as 
sneaking away." 

Lady Sandgate, with a slight flush, turned it 
over. " I delight in his triumph, and whatever 
I do is at least above board ; but if it's a 
question of support aren't you yourself failing 
him quite as much ? " 

This had, however, no effect on the girl's 
confidence. "Ah, my dear, I'm not at all the 
same thing, and as I'm the person in the world 
he least misses " Well, such a fact spoke 
for itself. 



38 THE OUTCRY 

" You've been free to return and wait for 
Lord John ? " that was the sense in which 
the elder woman appeared to prefer to under- 
stand it as speaking. 

The tone of it, none the less, led her com- 
panion immediately, though very quietly, to 
correct her. "I've not come back to wait for 
Lord John." 

"Then he hasn't told you if you've talked 
with what idea he has come ? " 

Lady Grace had for a further correction the 
same shade of detachment. " Kitty has told 
me what it suits her to pretend to suppose." 

" And Kitty's pretensions and suppositions 
always go with what happens at the moment, 
among all her wonderful happenings to suit 
her?" 

Lady Grace let that question answer itself 
she took the case up further on. " What I can't 
make out is why this should so suit her ! " 

"And what / can't!" said Lady Sandgate 
without gross honesty and turning away after 
having watched the girl a moment. She never- 
theless presently faced her again to follow this 
speculation up. " Do you like him enough to 
risk the chance of Kitty's being for once right ? " 



THE OUTCRY 39 

Lady Grace gave it a thought with which 
she moved away. " I don't know how much 
I like him!" 

" Nor how little ! " cried her friend, who evi- 
dently found amusement in the tone of it. 
" And you're not disposed to take the time to 
find out? He's at least better than the 
others." 

"The ' others '? "Lady Grace was blank 
for them. 

"The others of his set." 

" Oh, his set ! Tha* wouldn't be difficult 
by what I imagine of some of them. But he 
means well enough," the girl added; "he's 
very charming and does me great honour." 

It determined in her companion, about to 
leave her, another brief arrest. "Then may 
I tell your father ? " 

This in turn brought about in Lady Grace 
an immediate drop of the subject. "Tell my 
father, please, that I'm expecting Mr. Crimble ; 
of whom I've spoken to him even if he doesn't 
remember, and who bicycles this afternoon ten 
miles over from where he's staying with some 
people we don't know to look at the pictures, 
about which he's awfully keen." 



40 THE OUTCRY 

Lady Sandgate took it in. " Ah, like Mr. 
Bender?" 

"No, not at all, I think, like Mr. Bender/' 

This appeared to move in the elder woman 
some deeper thought. " May I ask then if 
one's to meet him who he is ? " 

" Oh, father knows or ought to that I sat 
next him, in London, a month ago, at dinner, 
and that he then told me he was working, tooth 
and nail, at what he called the wonderful 
modern science of Connoisseurship which is 
upsetting, as perhaps you're not aware, all the 
old-fashioned canons of art-criticism, every- 
thing we've stupidly thought right and held 
dear ; that he was to spend Easter in these 
parts, and that he should like greatly to be 
allowed some day to come over and make 
acquaintance with our things. I told him," 
Lady Grace wound up, " that nothing would 
be easier ; a note from him arrived before 
dinner " 

Lady Sandgate jumped the rest. " And it's 
for him you've come in." 

" It's for him I've come in," the girl assented 
with serenity. 

" Very good though he sounds most detri- 



THE OUTCRY 41 

mental ! But will you first just tell me this 
whether when you sent in ten minutes ago for 
Lord John to come out to you it was wholly of 
your own movement ? " And she followed it 
up as her young friend appeared to hesitate. 
"Was it because you knew why he had 
arrived ? " 

The young friend hesitated still. " ' Why ' ? " 
" So particularly to speak to you." 
" Since he was expected and mightn't know 
where I was," Lady Grace said after an instant, 
" I wanted naturally to be civil to him." 

"And had he time there to tell you," Lady 
Sandgate asked, "how very civil he wants to 
be to you ? " 

"No, only to tell me that his friend who's 
off there was coming; for Kitty at once 
appropriated him and was still in possession 
when I came away." Then, as deciding at 
last on perfect frankness, Lady Grace went on : 
"If you want to know, I sent for news of him 
because Kitty insisted on my doing so ; saying, 
so very oddly and quite in her own way, that 
she herself didn't wish to 'appear in it.' She 
had done nothing but say to me for an hour, 
rather worryingly, what you've just said that 



42 THE OUTCRY 

it's me he's what, like Mr. Bender, she calls 
' after ' ; but as soon as he appeared she pounced 
on him, and I left him I assure you quite 
resignedly in her hands." 

" She wants " it was easy for Lady Sand- 
gate to remark "to talk of you to him." 

" I don't know wkat she wants," the girl 
replied as with rather a tired patience ; " Kitty 
wants so many things at once. She always 
wants money, in quantities, to begin with and 
all to throw so horribly away ; so that when- 
ever I see her ' in ' so very deep with any one 
I always imagine her appealing for some new 
tip as to how it's to be come by." 

" Kitty's an abyss, I grant you, and with my 
disinterested devotion to your father in re- 
quital of all his kindness to me since Lord 
Sandgate's death and since your mother's I 
can never be too grateful to you, my dear, for 
your being so different a creature. But what 
is she going to gain financially," Lady Sand- 
gate pursued with a strong emphasis on her 
adverb, " by working up our friend's confidence 
in your listening to him if you are to listen ? " 

" I haven't in the least engaged to listen," 
said Lady Grace "it will depend on the 



THE OUTCRY 43 

music he makes ! " But she added with light 
cynicism : " Perhaps she's to gain a com- 
mission ! " 

"On his fairly getting you?" And then 
as the girl assented by silence : " Is he in a 
position to pay her one ? " Lady Sandgate 
asked. 

" I dare say the Duchess is ! " 

" But do you see the Duchess producing 
money with all that Kitty, as we're not 
ignorant, owes her ? Hundreds and hundreds 
and hundreds ! " Lady Sandgate piled them 
up. 

Her young friend's gesture checked it. 
"Ah, don't tell me how many it's too sad 
and too ugly and too wrong ! " To which, 
however, Lady Grace added : " But perhaps 
that will be just her way ! " And then as her 
companion seemed for the moment not quite to 
follow : " By letting Kitty off her debt." 

" You mean that Kitty goes free if Lord 
John wins your promise ? " 

11 Kitty goes free." 

" She has her creditor's release ? " 

4< For every shilling." 

" And if he only fails ? " 



44 THE OUTCRY 

"Why then of course," said now quite lucid 
Lady Grace, "she throws herself more than 
ever on poor father." 

11 Poor father indeed ! " Lady Sandgate 
richly sighed it. 

It appeared even to create in the younger 
woman a sense of excess. " Yes but he after 
all and in spite of everything adores her." 

" To the point, you mean " for Lady Sand- 
gate could clearly but wonder " of really 
sacrificing you ? " 

The weight of Lady Grace's charming deep 
eyes on her face made her pause while, at some 
length, she gave back this look and the inter- 
change determined in the girl a grave appeal. 
"You think I should be sacrificed if I married 
him ? " 

Lady Sandgate replied, though with an 
equal emphasis, indirectly. " Could you marry 
him?" 

Lady Grace waited a moment. " Do you 
mean for Kitty ? " 

"For himself even if they should convince 
you, among them, that he cares for you." 

Lady Grace had another delay. "Well, 
he's his awful mother's son." 



THE OUTCRY 45 

" Yes but you wouldn't marry his mother/' 

" No but I should only be the more 
uncomfortably and intimately conscious of 
her." 

" Even when," Lady Sandgate optimistically 
put it, "she so markedly likes you?" 

This determined in the girl a fine impatience. 
"She doesn't 'like' me, she only wants me 
which is a very different thing ; wants me for 
my father's so particularly beautiful position, 
and my mother's so supremely great people, 
and for everything we have been and have 
done, and still are and still have : except of 
course poor not-at-all-model Kitty." 

To this luminous account of the matter Lady 
Sandgate turned as to a genial sun-burst. " I 
see indeed for the general immaculate con- 



nection." 



The words had no note of irony, but Lady 
Grace, in her great seriousness, glanced with 
deprecation at the possibility. "Well, we 
haven t had false notes. We've scarcely even 
had bad moments." 

"Yes, you've been beatific!" Lady Sand- 
gate enviously, quite ruefully, felt it. But any 
further treatment of the question was checked 



46 THE OUTCRY 

by the re-entrance of the footman a demon- 
stration explained by the concomitant appear- 
ance of a young man in eye-glasses and with 
the ends of his trousers clipped together as for 
cycling. " This must be your friend/' she had 
only time to say to the daughter of the house ; 
with which, alert and reminded of how she was 
awaited elsewhere, she retreated before her 
companion's visitor, who had come in with his 
guide from the vestibule. She passed away 
to the terrace and the gardens, Mr. Hugh 
Crimble's announced name ringing in her ears 
to some effect that we are as yet not qualified 
to discern. 



IV 



LADY GRACE had turned to meet Mr. Hugh 
Crimble, whose pleasure in at once finding her 
lighted his keen countenance and broke into 
easy words. " So awfully kind of you in the 
midst of the great doings I noticed to have 
found a beautiful minute for me." 

" I left the great doings, which are almost 
over, to every one's relief, I think," the girl 



THE OUTCRY 47 

returned, " so that your precious time shouldn't 
be taken to hunt for me." 

It was clearly for him, on this bright answer, 
as if her white hand were holding out the per- 
fect flower of felicity. " You came in from 
your revels on purpose with the same charity 
you showed me from that first moment ? " 
They stood smiling at each other as in an 
exchange of sympathy already confessed and 
even as if finding that their relation had grown 
during the lapse of contact ; she recognising 
the effect of what they had originally felt as 
bravely as he might name it. What the fine, 
slightly long oval of her essentially quiet face 
quiet in spite of certain vague depths of reference 
to forces of the strong high order, forces 
involved and implanted, yet also rather spent 
in the process kept in range from under her 
redundant black hat was the strength of 
expression, the directness of communication, 
that her guest appeared to borrow from the 
unframed and unattached nippers unceasingly 
perched, by their mere ground-glass rims, as 
she remembered, on the bony bridge of his 
indescribably authoritative (since it was at the 
same time decidedly inquisitive) young nose. 



48 THE OUTCRY 

She must, however, also have embraced in this 
contemplation, she must more or less again have 
interpreted, his main physiognomic mark, the 
degree to which his clean jaw was underhung 
and his lower lip protruded ; a lapse of regularity 
made evident by a suppression of beard and 
moustache as complete as that practised by Mr. 
Bender though without the appearance con- 
sequent in the latter's case, that of the flagrantly 
vain appeal in the countenance for some other 
exhibition of a history, of a process of pro- 
duction, than this so superficial one. With the 
interested and interesting girl sufficiently under 
our attention while we thus try to evoke her, 
we may even make out some wonder in her as 
to why the so perceptibly protrusive lower lip 
of this acquaintance of an hour or two should 
positively have contributed to his being hand- 
some instead of much more logically interfering 
with it. We might in fact in such a case even 
have followed her into another and no less 
refined a speculation the question of whether 
the surest seat of his good looks mightn't after 
all be his high, fair, if somewhat narrow, 
forehead, crowned with short crisp brown hair 
and which, after a fashion of its own, pre- 



THE OUTCRY 49 

dominated without overhanging. He spoke 
after they had stood just face to face almost 
long enough for awkwardness. " I haven't 
forgotten one item of your kindness to me on 
that rather bleak occasion." 

" Bleak do you call it ? " she laughed. " Why 
I found it, rather, tropical ' lush.' My neigh- 
bour on the other side wanted to talk to me of 
the White City." 

" Then you made it doubtless bleak for him, 
let us say. / couldn't let you alone, I remember, 
about tkis\\. was like a shipwrecked signal 
to a sail on the horizon." "This" obviously 
meant for the young man exactly what 
surrounded him ; he had begun, like Mr. 
Bender, to be conscious of a thick solicitation 
of the eye and much more than he, doubtless, 
of a tug at the imagination ; and he broke 
characteristically, you would have been sure 
into a great free gaiety of recognition. 

"Oh, we've nothing particular in the hall," 
Lady Grace amiably objected. 

" Nothing, I see, but Claudes and Cuyps ! 
I'm an ogre," he said " before a new and rare 
feast ! " 

She happily took up his figure. "Then 



50 THE OUTCKY 

won't you begin as a first course with tea after 
your ride ? If the other, that is for there has 
been an ogre before you has left any." 

"Some tea, with pleasure" he looked all 
his longing ; " though when you talk of a 
fellow-feaster I should have supposed that, on 
such a day as this especially, you'd find your- 
selves running a continuous table d'hote" 

"Ah, we can't work sports in our gallery 
and saloon the banging or whacking and 
shoving amusements that are all most people 
care for; unless, perhaps," Lady Grace went 
on, "your own peculiar one, as I understand 
you, of playing football with the old benighted 
traditions and attributions you everywhere 
meet : in fact I think you said the old idiotic 
superstitions." 

Hugh Crimble went more than half-way to 
meet this description of his fondest activity ; 
he indeed even beckoned it on. " The names 
and stories and styles the so often vain 
legend, not to be too invidious of author or 
subject or school ? " But he had a drop, no 
less, as from the sense of a cause sometimes 
lost. "Ah, that's a game at which we #//can 
play ! " 



THE OUTCRY 51 

"Though scarcely," Lady Grace suggested, 
"at which we all can score." 

The words appeared indeed to take meaning 
from his growing impression of the place and 
its charm of the number of objects, treasures 
of art, that pressed for appreciation of their 
importance. " Certainly," he said, "no one 
can ever have scored much on sacred spots 
of this order which express so the grand 
impunity of their pride, their claims, their 
assurance ! " 

"We've had great luck," she granted "as 
I've just been reminded ; but ever since those 
terrible things you told me in town about the 
tremendous tricks of the whirligig of time and 
the aesthetic fools' paradise in which so many 
of us live I've gone about with my heart in 
my mouth. Who knows that while I talk Mr. 
Bender mayn't be pulling us to pieces ? " 

Hugh Crimble had a shudder of remem- 
brance. " Mr. Bender ? " 

"The rich American who's going round." 

It gave him a sharper shock. " The wretch 
who bagged Lady Lappington's Longhi ? " 

Lady Grace showed surprise. " Is he a 
wretch ? " 



52 THE OUTCRY 

Her visitor but asked to be extravagant. 
" Rather the scoundrel. He offered his 
infernal eight thousand down." 

" Oh, I thought you meant he had played 
some trick ! " 

" I wish he had he could then have been 
collared." 

"Well," Lady Grace peacefully smiled, "it's 
no use his offering us eight thousand or 
eighteen or even eighty ! " 

Hugh Crimble stared as at the odd super- 
fluity of this reassurance, almost crude on 
exquisite lips and contradicting an imputation 
no one would indecently have made. ' ' Gracious 
goodness, I hope not ! The man surely doesn't 
suppose you'd traffic." 

She might, while she still smiled at him, 
have been fairly enjoying the friendly horror 
she produced. " I don't quite know what he 
supposes. But people have trafficked ; people 
do ; people are trafficking all round." 

"Ah," Hugh Crimble cried, "that's what 
deprives me of my rest and, as a lover of our 
vast and beneficent art-wealth, poisons my 
waking hours. That art-wealth is at the 
mercy of a leak there appears no means of 



THE OUTCRY 53 

stopping." She had tapped a spring in him, 
clearly, and the consequent flood might almost 
at any moment become copious. " Precious 
things are going out of our distracted country 
at a quicker rate than the very quickest a 
century and more ago of their ever coming 
in." 

She was sharply struck, but was also unmis- 
takably a person in whom stirred thought soon 
found connections and relations. "Well, I 
suppose our art-wealth came in save for those 
awkward Elgin Marbles ! mainly by purchase 
too, didn't it ? We ourselves largely took it 
away from somewhere, didn't we ? We didn't 
grow it all." 

" We grew some of the loveliest flowers 
and on the whole to-day the most exposed." 
He had been pulled up but for an instant. 
" Great Gainsboroughs and Sir Joshuas and 
Romneys and Sargents, great Turners and 
Constables and old Cromes and Brabazons, 
form, you'll recognise, a vast garden in them- 
selves. What have we ever for instance more 
successfully grown than your splendid * Duchess 
of Waterbridge ' ? " 

The girl showed herself ready at once to 



54 THE OUTCRY 

recognise under his eloquence anything he 
would. "Yes it's our Sir Joshua, I believe, 
that Mr. Bender has proclaimed himself par- 
ticularly 'after.'" 

It brought a cloud to her friend's face. 
"Then he'll be capable of anything." 

"Of anything, no doubt, but of making my 
father capable ! And you haven't at any 
rate," she said, "so much as seen the picture." 

" I beg your pardon I saw it at the Guild- 
hall three years ago ; and am almost afraid of 
getting again, with a fresh sense of its beauty, 
a livelier sense of its danger." 

Lady Grace, however, was so far from fear 
that she could even afford pity. " Poor baffled 
Mr. Bender ! " 

"Oh, rich and confident Mr. Bender!" 
Crimble cried. "Once given his money, his 
confidence is a horrid engine in itself there's 
the rub ! I dare say " the young man saw it 
all he has brought his poisonous cheque." 

She gave it her less exasperated wonder. 
"One has heard of that, but only in the case 
of some particularly pushing dealer." 

" And Mr. Bender, to do him justice, isn't a 
particularly pushing dealer ? " 






THE OUTCRY 55 

" No," Lady Grace judiciously returned ; " I 
think he's not a dealer at all, but just what you 
a moment ago spoke of yourself as being." 

He gave a glance at his possibly wild recent 
past. " A fond true lover ? " 

" As we all were in our lucky time when 
we rummaged Italy and Spain." 

He appeared to recognise this complication 
of Bender's voracious integrity ; but only to 
push it away. "Well, I don't know whether 
the best lovers are, or ever were, the best 
buyers but I feel to-day that they're the best 
keepers." 

The breath of his emphasis blew, as her eyes 
showed, on the girl's dimmer fire. " It's as if 
it were suddenly in the air that you've brought 
us some light or some help that you may do 
something really good for us." 

" Do you mean 'mark down,' as they say at 
the shops, all your greatest claims ? " 

His chord of sensibility had trembled all 
gratefully into derision, and not to seem to 
swagger he had put his possible virtue at its 
lowest. This she beautifully showed that she 
beautifully saw. " I dare say that if you did 
even that we should have to take it from you." 



56 THE OUTCRY 

"Then it may very well be," he laughed 
back, "the reason why I feel, under my de- 
lightful, wonderful impression, a bit anxious 
and nervous and afraid." 

"That shows," she returned, "that you 
suspect us of horrors hiding from justice, and 
that your natural kindness yet shrinks from 
handing us over ! " 

Well, clearly, she might put it as she liked 
it all came back to his being more charmed. 
" Heaven knows I've wanted a chance at you, 
but what should you say if, having then at last 
just taken you in in your so apparent perfection, 
I should feel it the better part of valour simply 
to mount my * bike ' again and spin away ? " 

" I should be sure that at the end of the 
avenue you'd turn right round and come back. 
You'd think again of Mr. Bender." 

" Whom I don't, however, you see if he's 
prowling off there in the least want to meet." 
Crimble made the point with gaiety. " I don't 
know what I mightn't do to him and yet it's 
not of my temptation to violence, after all, that 
I'm most afraid. It's of the brutal mistake of 
one's breaking with one's priggish, precious 
modernity and one's possibly futile discrimina- 



THE OUTCRY 57 

tions into a general situation or composition, 
as we say, so serene and sound and right. 
What should one do here, out of respect for 
that felicity, but hold one's breath and walk on 
tip-toe ? The very celebrations and consecra- 
tions, as you tell me, instinctively stay outside. 
I saw that all," the young man went on with 
more weight in his ardour, " I saw it, while we 
talked in London, as your natural setting and 
your native air and now ten minutes on the 
spot have made it sink into my spirit. You're 
a case, all together, of enchanted harmony, of 
perfect equilibrium there's nothing to be done 
or said." 

His friend listened to this eloquence with 
her eyes lowered, then raising them to meet, 
with a vague insistence, his own ; after which 
something she had seen there appeared to de- 
termine in her another motion. She indicated 
the small landscape that Mr. Bender had, by 
Lady Sandgate's report, rapidly studied and 
denounced. " For what do you take that 
little picture ? " 

Hugh Crimble went over and looked. 
"Why, don't you know? It's a jolly little 
Vandermeer of Delft." 



58 THE OUTCRY 

" It's not a base imitation ? " 

He looked again, but appeared at a loss. 
* An imitation of Vandermeer ? " 

" Mr. Bender thinks of Cuyp." 

It made the young man ring out: "Then 
Mr. Bender's doubly dangerous ! " 

' ' Singly is enough!" Lady Grace laughed. 
" But you see you have to speak." 

" Oh, to him, rather, after that if you'll just 
take me to him." 

"Yes then," she said; but even while she 
spoke Lord John, who had returned, by the 
terrace, from his quarter of an hour passed with 
Lady Imber, was there practically between 
them ; a fact that she had to notice for her 
other visitor, to whom she was hastily reduced 
to naming him. 

His lordship eagerly made the most of this 
tribute of her attention, which had reached his 
ear ; he treated it her " Oh Lord John ! " as 
a direct greeting. " Ah Lady Grace! I came 
back particularly to find you." 

She could but explain her predicament. " I 
was taking Mr. Crimble to see the pictures." 
And then more pointedly, as her manner had 
been virtually an introduction of that gentle- 



THE OUTCRY 59 

man, an introduction which Lord John's mere 
noncommittal stare was as little as possible a 
response to : " Mr. Crimble's one of the quite 
new connoisseurs." 

"Oh, I'm at the very lowest round of the 
ladder. But I aspire ! " Hugh laughed. 

" You'll mount ! " said Lady Grace with 
friendly confidence. 

He took it again with gay deprecation. 
" Ah, if by that time there's anything left here 
to mount on ! " 

" Let us hope there will be at least what Mr. 
Bender, poor man, won't have been able to 
carry off." To which Lady Grace added, as 
to strike a helpful spark from the personage 
who had just joined them, but who had the 
air of wishing to preserve his detachment : 
"It's to Lord John that we owe Mr. Bender's 
acquaintance." 

Hugh looked at the gentleman to whom 
they were so indebted. " Then do you happen 
to know, sir, what your friend means to do with 
his spoil ? " 

The question got itself but dryly treated, as 
if it might be a commercially calculating or 
interested one. " Oh, not sell it again." 



60 THE OUTCRY 

" Then ship it to New York ? " the inquirer 
pursued, defining himself somehow as not 
snubbed and, from this point, not snubbable. 

That appearance failed none the less to 
deprive Lord John of a betrayed relish for 
being able to displease Lady Grace's odd guest 
by large assent. " As fast as ever he can 
and you can land things there now, can't you ? 
in three or four days." 

" I dare say. But can't he be induced to 
have a little mercy ? " Hugh sturdily pursued. 

Lord John pushed out his lips. " A ' little ' ? 
How much do you want ? " 

" Well, one wants to be able somehow to 
stay his hand." 

" I doubt if you can any more stay Mr 
Bender's hand than you can empty his 
purse." 

"Ah, the Despoilers!" said Crimble with 
strong expression. " But it's we" he added, 
" who are base." 

"'Base'?" and Lord John's surprise was 
apparently genuine. 

"To want only to 'do business,' I mean, 
with our treasures, with our glories." 

Hugh's words exhaled such a sense of peril 



THE OUTCRY 61 

as to draw at once Lady Grace. " Ah, but if 
we're above that here, as you know ! " 

He stood smilingly corrected and contrite. 
41 Of course I know but you must forgive me 
if I have it on the brain. And show me first 
of all, won't you ? the Moretto of Brescia." 

" You know then about the Moretto of 
Brescia?" 

"Why, didn't you tell me yourself?" It 
went on between them for the moment quite 
as if there had been no Lord John. 

"Probably, yes," she recalled; "so how I 
must have swaggered ! " After which she 
turned to the other visitor with a kindness 
strained clear of urgency. "Will you also 
come ? " 

He confessed to a difficulty which his 
whole face begged her also to take account of. 
" I hoped you'd be at leisure for something 
I've so at heart!" 

This had its effect ; she took a rapid de- 
cision and turned persuasively to Crimble for 
whom, in like manner, there must have been 
something in ^rface. " Let Mr. Bender him- 
self then show you. And there are things in 
the library too." 



62 THE OUTCRY 

"Oh yes, there are things in the library." 
Lord John, happy in his gained advantage 
and addressing Hugh from the strong ground 
of an initiation already complete, quite sped 
him on the way. 

Hugh clearly made no attempt to veil the 
penetration with which he was moved to look 
from one of these counsellors to the other, 
though with a ready "Thank you!" for Lady 
Grace he the next instant started in pursuit of 
Mr. Bender. 



"YouR friend seems remarkably hot!" Lord 
John remarked to his young hostess as soon 
as they had been left together. 

" He has cycled twenty miles. And indeed," 
she smiled, "he does appear to care for what 
he cares for ! " 

Her companion then, during a moment's 
silence, might have been noting the emphasis 
of her assent. " Have you known him long ? " 

" No not long." 

"Nor seen him often ? " 



THE OUTCRY 63 

" Only once till now." 

" Oh ! " said Lord John with another pause. 
But he soon proceeded. " Let us leave him 
then to cool ! I haven't cycled twenty miles, 
but I've motored forty very much in the hope 
of this, Lady Grace the chance of being able 
to assure you that I too care very much for 
what I care for." To which he added on an 
easier note, as to carry off a slight awkward- 
ness while she only waited : " You certainly 
mustn't let yourself between us all be worked 
to death." 

"Oh, such days as this !" She made 
light enough of her burden. 

" They don't come often to me at least, 
Lady Grace ! I hadn't grasped in advance 
the scale of your feast," he went on; "but 
since I've the great luck to find you alone ! " 
He paused for breath, however, before the 
full sequence. 

She helped him out as through common 
kindness, but it was a trifle colourless. 
"Alone or in company, Lord John, I'm 
always very glad to see you." 

"Then that assurance helps me to wonder 
if you don't perhaps gently guess what it is 



64 THE OUTCRY 

I want to say." This time indeed she left 
him to his wonder, so that he had to support 
himself. "I've tried, all considerately these 
three months to let you see for yourself how 
I feel. I feel very strongly, Lady Grace ; so 
that at last " and his impatient sincerity took 
after another instant the jump ''well, I 
regularly worship you. You're my absolute 
ideal. I think of you the whole time." 

She measured out consideration as if it had 
been a yard of pretty ribbon. "Are you sure 
you know me enough ? " 

" I think I know a perfect woman when I 
see one ! " Nothing now at least could have 
been more prompt, and while a decent pity for 
such a mistake showed in her smile he followed 
it up. " Isn't what you rather mean that you 
haven't cared sufficiently to know me? If so, 
that can be little by little mended, Lady Grace." 
He was in fact altogether gallant about it. 
"I'm aware of the limits of what I have to 
show or to offer, but I defy you to find a limit 
to my possible devotion." 

She deferred to that, but taking it in a lower 
key. " I believe you'd be very good to me." 

"Well, isn't that something to start with?" 



THE OUTCRY 65 

he fairly pounced on it. "I'll do any blest 
thing in life you like, I'll accept any condition 
you impose, if you'll only tell me you see your 
way." 

"Shouldn't I have a little more first to see 
yours ? " she asked. " When you say you'll do 
anything in life I like, isn't there anything you 
yourself want strongly enough to do ? " 

He cast a stare about on the suggestions of 
the scene. " Anything that will make money, 
you mean ? " 

" Make money or make reputation or even 
just make the time pass." 

" Oh, what I have to look to in the way of a 
career?" If that was her meaning he could 
show after an instant that he didn't fear it. 
' 'Well, your father, dear delightful man, has 
been so good as to give me to understand that 
he backs me for a decent deserving creature ; 
and I've noticed, as you doubtless yourself 
have, that when Lord Theign backs a 
fellow !" 

He left the obvious moral for her to take up 
which she did, but all interrogatively. " The 
fellow at once comes in for something awfully 
good ? " 



66 THE OUTCRY 

" I don't in the least mind your laughing at 
me," Lord John returned, "for when I put him 
the question of the lift he'd give me by speaking 
to you first he bade me simply remember the 
complete personal liberty in which he leaves 
you, and yet which doesn't come take my 
word!" said the young man sagely "from 
his being at all indifferent." 

"No," she answered "father isn't in- 
different. But father's 'great.'" 

" Great indeed ! " her friend took it as with 
full comprehension. This appeared not to 
prevent, however, a second and more anxious 
thought. " Too great for you ? " 

"Well, he makes me feel even as his 
daughter my extreme comparative smallness." 

It was easy, Lord John indicated, to see 
what she meant. " He's a grand seigneur, and 
a serious one that's what he is : the very type 
and model of it, down to the ground. So you 
can imagine," said this observer, "what he 
makes me feel most of all when he's so 
awfully good-natured to me. His being as 
' great ' as you say and yet backing me such 
as I am! doesn't that strike you as a good 
note for me, the best you could possibly 



THE OUTCRY 67 

require ? For he really would like what I 
propose to you." 

She might have been noting, while she 
thought, that he had risen to ingenuity, to 
fineness, on the wings of his argument ; under 
the effect of which her reply had the air of a 
concession. "Yes he would like it." 

"Then he has spoken to you?" her suitor 
eagerly asked. 

"He hasn't needed he has ways of letting 
one know." 

"Yes, yes, he has ways; all his own like 
everything else he has. He's wonderful." 

She fully agreed. " He's wonderful." 

The tone of it appeared somehow to shorten 
at once for Lord John the rest of his approach 
to a conclusion. " So you do see your way ? " 

Ah ! " she said with a quick sad shrinkage. 

" I mean," her visitor hastened to explain, 
" if he does put it to you as the very best idea 
he has for you. When he does that as I 
believe him ready to do will you really and 
fairly listen to him? I'm certain, honestly, 
that when you know me better !" His con- 
fidence in short donned a bravery. 

"I've been feeling this quarter of an hour," 



68 THE OUTCRY 

the girl returned, "that I do know you 
better." 

"Then isn't that all I want? unless indeed 
I ought perhaps to ask rather if it isn't all you 
do ! At any rate," said Lord John, " I may see 
you again here ? " 

She waited a moment. "You must have 
patience with me." 

" I am having it. But after your father's 
appeal." 

"Well," she said, "that must come first." 

" Then you won't dodge it ? " 

She looked at him straight. " I don't dodge, 
Lord John." 

He admired the manner of it. "You look 
awfully handsome as you say so and you see 
what that does to me." As to attenuate a little 
the freedom of which he went on : " May I 
fondly hope that if Lady Imber too should 
wish to put in another word for me ? " 

"Will I listen to her?" it brought Lady 
Grace straight down. "No, Lord John, let 
me tell you at once that I'll do nothing of the 
sort. Kitty's quite another affair, and I never 
listen to her a bit more than I can help." 

Lord John appeared to feel, on this, that 



THE OUTCRY 69 

he mustn't too easily, in honour, abandon a 
person who had presented herself to him as 
an ally. "Ah, you strike me as a little 
hard on her. Your father himself in his 
looser moments! takes pleasure in what she 
says." 

Our young woman's eyes, as they rested 
on him after this remark, had no mercy for 
its extreme feebleness. "If you mean that 
she's the most reckless rattle one knows, 
and that she never looks so beautiful as 
when she's at her worst, and that, always 
clever for where she makes out her interest, 
she has learnt to ' get round ' him till he 
only sees through her eyes if you mean that 
I understand you perfectly. But even if you 
think me horrid for reflecting so on my 
nearest and dearest, it's not on the side on 
which he has most confidence in his elder 
daughter that his youngest is moved to have 
most confidence in him." 

Lord John stared as if she had shaken some 
odd bright fluttering object in his face ; but 
then recovering himself: "He hasn't perhaps 
an absolutely boundless confidence " 

"In any one in the world but himself?" 



70 THE OUTCRY 

she had taken him straight up. " He hasn't 
indeed, and that's what we must come to ; so 
that even if he likes you as much as you 
doubtless very justly feel, it won't be because 
you are right about your being nice, but 
because he is ! " 

"You mean that if I were wrong about it 
he would still insist that he isn't ? " 

Lady Grace was indeed sure. " Absolutely 
if he had begun so! He began so with 
Kitty that is with allowing her everything." 

Lord John appeared struck. " Yes and he 
still allows her two thousand." 

" I'm glad to hear it she has never told me 
how much ! " the girl undisguisedly smiled. 

"Then perhaps I oughtn't!" he glowed 
with the light of contrition. 

" Well, you can't help it now," his companion 
remarked with amusement. 

" You mean that he ought to allow you as 
much?" Lord John inquired. "I'm sure 
you're right, and that he will," he continued 
quite as in good faith; "but I want you to 
understand that I don't care in the least what 
it may be ! " 

The subject of his suit took the longest look 



THE OUTCRY 71 

at him she had taken yet. " You're very good 
to say so ! " 

If this was ironic the touch fell short, thanks 
to his perception that they had practically just 
ceased to be alone. They were in presence 
of a third figure, who had arrived from the 
terrace, but whose approach to them was not 
so immediate as to deprive Lord John of 
time for another question. " Will you let 
him tell you, at all events, how good he 
thinks me ? and then let me come back and 
have it from you again ? " 

Lady Grace's answer to this was to turn, as he 
drew nearer, to the person by whom they were 
now joined. " Lord John desires you should 
tell me, father, how good you think him." 

"'Good,' my dear? good for what?" said 
Lord Theign a trifle absurdly, but looking 
from one of them to the other. 

<% I feel I must ask him to tell you." 

" Then I shall give him a chance as I 
should particularly like you to go back and 
deal with those overwhelming children." 

"Ah, they don't overwhelm you, father! " 
the girl put it with some point. 

"If you mean to say I overwhelmed them> 



72 THE OUTCRY 

I dare say I did," he replied " from my view 
of that vast collective gape of six hundred 
painfully plain and perfectly expressionless 
faces. But that was only for the time : I 
pumped advice oh such advice ! and they 
held the large bucket as still as my pet pointer, 
when I scratch him, holds his back. The 
bucket, under the stream " 

"Was bound to overflow?" Lady Grace 
suggested. 

"Well, the strong recoil of the wave of 
intelligence has been not unnaturally followed 
by the formidable break. You must really," 
Lord Theign insisted, "go and deal with it." 

His daughter's smile, for all this, was 
perceptibly cold. "You work people up, father, 
and then leave others to let them down." 

"The two things," he promptly replied, 
"require different natures." To which he 
simply added, as with the habit of authority, 
though not of harshness, " Go ! " 

It was absolute and she yielded ; only 
pausing an instant to look as with a certain 
gathered meaning from one of the men to the 
other. Faintly and resignedly sighing she 
passed away to the terrace and disappeared. 



THE OUTCRY 73 

" The nature that can let you down I 
rather like it, you know!" Lord John threw 
off. Which, for an airy elegance in them, 
were perhaps just slightly rash words his 
companion gave him so sharp a look as the 
two were left together. 



VI 



FACE to face with his visitor the master 
of Dedborough betrayed the impression his 
daughter appeared to have given him. " She 
didn't want to go ? " And then before Lord 
John could reply: "What the deuce is the 
matter with her ? " 

Lord John took his time. " I think perhaps 
a little Mr. Crimble." 

" And who the deuce is a little Mr. Crimble ? " 

" A young man who was just with her and 
whom she appears to have invited." 

"Where is he then?" Lord Theign demanded. 

"Off there among the pictures which he 
seems partly to have come for." 

" Oh ! "it made his lordship easier. " Then 
he's all right on such a day." 



74 THE OUTCRY 

His companion could none the less just 
wonder. " Hadn't Lady Grace told you ? " 

" That he was coming ? Not that I 
remember." But Lord Theign, perceptibly 
preoccupied, made nothing of this. "We've 
had other fish to fry, and you know the 
freedom I allow her." 

His friend had a vivid gesture. "My dear 
man, I only ask to profit by it ! " With which 
there might well have been in Lord John's face 
a light of comment on the pretension in such 
a quarter to allow freedom. 

Yet it was a pretension that Lord Theign 
sustained as to show himself far from all 
bourgeois narrowness. "She has her friends 
by the score at this time of day." There was 
clearly a claim here also to know the time of 
day. " But in the matter of friends where, by 
the way, is your own of whom I've but just 
heard?" 

"Oh, off there among the pictures too ; so 
they'll have met and taken care of each other." 
Accounting for this inquirer would be clearly 
the least of Lord John's difficulties. " I mustn't 
appear to Bender to have failed him ; but I 
must at once let you know, before I join him, 



THE OUTCRY 75 

that, seizing my opportunity, I have just very 
definitely, in fact very pressingly, spoken to 
Lady Grace. It hasn't been perhaps," he 
continued, " quite the pick of a chance; but 
that seemed never to come, and if I'm not too 
fondly mistaken, at any rate, she listened to 
me without abhorrence. Only I've led her to 
expect for our case that you'll be so good, 
without loss of time, as to say the clinching 
word to her yourself." 

"Without loss, you mean, of a my 
daughter's time ? " Lord Theign, confessedly 
and amiably interested, had accepted these 
intimations yet with the very blandness that 
was not accessible to hustling and was never 
forgetful of its standing privilege of criticism. 
He had come in from his public duty, a few 
minutes before, somewhat flushed and blown ; 
but that had presently dropped to the effect, 
we should have guessed, of his appearing to 
Lord John at least as cool as the occasion 
required. His appearance, we ourselves cer- 
tainly should have felt, was in all respects 
charming with the great note of it the beauti- 
ful restless, almost suspicious challenge to you, 
on the part of deep and mixed things in him, 



76 THE OUTCRY 

his pride and his shyness, his conscience, his 
taste and his temper, to deny that he was 
admirably simple. Obviously, at this rate, 
he had a passion for simplicity simplicity, 
above all, of relation with you, and would show 
you, with the last subtlety of displeasure, his 
impatience of your attempting anything more 
with himself. With such an ideal of decent 
ease he would, confound you, "sink" a hun- 
dred other attributes or the recognition at 
least and the formulation of them that you 
might abjectly have taken for granted in him : 
just to show you that in a beastly vulgar 
age you had, and small wonder, a beastly vulgar 
imagination. He sank thus, surely, in defiance 
of insistent vulgarity, half his consciousness of 
his advantages, flattering himself that mere 
facility and amiability, a true effective, a posi- 
tively ideal suppression of reference in any one 
to anything that might complicate, alone 
floated above. This would be quite his 
religion, you might infer to cause his hands to 
ignore in whatever contact any opportunity, 
however convenient, for an unfair pull. Which 
habit it was that must have produced in him a 
sort of ripe and radiant fairness ; if it be allowed 



THE OUTCRY 77 

us, that is, to figure in so shining an air a 
nobleman of fifty-three, of an undecided rather 
than a certified frame or outline, of a head 
thinly though neatly covered and not measure- 
ably massive, of an almost trivial freshness, of 
a face marked but by a fine inwrought line or 
two and lighted by a merely charming expres- 
sion. You might somehow have traced back 
the whole character so presented to an ideal 
privately invoked that of his establishing in 
the formal garden of his suffered greatness such 
easy seats and short perspectives, such winding 
paths and natural-looking waters, as would 
mercifully break up the scale. You would 
perhaps indeed have reflected at the same time 
that the thought of so much mercy was almost 
more than anything else the thought of a great 
option and a great margin in fine of fifty 
alternatives. Which remarks of ours, however, 
leave his lordship with his last immediate 
question on his hands. 

" Well, yes that, of course, in all propriety," 
his companion has meanwhile replied to it. 
" But I was thinking a little, you understand, 
of the importance of our own time." 

Divinably Lord Theign put himself out less, 



78 THE OUTCRY 

as we may say, for the comparatively matter-of- 
course haunters of his garden than for inter- 
lopers even but slightly accredited. He seemed 
thus not at all to strain to " understand " in this 
particular connection it would be his familiarly 
amusing friend Lord John, clearly, who must 
do most of the work for him. " ' Our own ' in 
the sense of yours and mine ? " 

" Of yours and mine and Lady Imber's, yes 
and a good bit, last not least, in that of my 
watching and waiting mother's." This struck 
no prompt spark of apprehension from his 
listener, so that Lord John went on : " The 
last thing she did this morning was to remind 
me, with her fine old frankness, that she would 
like to learn without more delay where, on the 
whole question, she is, don't you know ? What 
she put to me" the younger man felt his 
ground a little, but proceeded further "what 
she put to me, with her rather grand way of 
looking all questions straight in the face, you 
see, was : Do we or don't we, decidedly, take 
up practically her very handsome offer ' very 
handsome ' being, I mean, what she calls it ; 
though it strikes even me too, you know, as 
rather decent." 



THE OUTCRY 79 

Lord Theign at this point resigned himself 
to know. " Kitty has of course rubbed into 
me how decent she herself finds it. She 
hurls herself again on me successfully! for 
everything, and it suits her down to the 
ground. She pays her beastly debt that is, 
I mean to say," and he took himself up, though 
it was scarce more than perfunctory, " dis- 
charges her obligations by her sister's fair 
hand ; not to mention a few other trifles for 
which I naturally provide." 

Lord John, a little unexpectedly to himself 
on the defensive, was yet but briefly at a loss. 
u Of course we take into account, don't we ? 
not only the fact of my mother's desire 
(intended, I assure you, to be most flattering) 
that Lady Grace shall enter our family with 
all honours, but her expressed readiness to 
facilitate the thing by an understanding over 
and above " 

"Over and above Kitty's release from her 
damnable payment ? " Lord Theign reached 
out to what his guest had left rather in the air. 
" Of course we take everything into account 
or I shouldn't, my dear fellow, be discussing 
with you at all a business one or two of whose 



8o THE OUTCRY 

aspects so little appeal to me : especially as 
there's nothing, you easily conceive, that a 
daughter of mine can come in for by entering 
even your family, or any other (as a family) 
that she wouldn't be quite as sure of by just 
staying in her own. The Duchess's idea, at 
any rate, if I've followed you, is that if Grace 
does accept you she settles on you twelve 
thousand ; with the condition " 

Lord J ohn was already all there. ' ' Definitely, 
yes, of your settling the equivalent on Lady 
Grace." 

"And what do you call the equivalent of 
twelve thousand ? " 

" Why, tacked on to a value so great and so 
charming as Lady Grace herself, I dare say 
such a sum as nine or ten would serve." 

" And where the mischief, if you please, at 
this highly inconvenient time, am I to pick up 
nine or ten thousand ? " 

Lord John declined, with a smiling, a fairly 
irritating eye for his friend's general resources, 
to consider that question seriously. " Surely 
you can have no difficulty whatever- ! " 

"Why not? when you can see for yourself 
that I've had this year to let poor dear old 



THE OUTCRY 81 

Hill Street! Do you call it the moment for 
me to have liked to see myself all but cajoled 
into planking down even such a matter as the 
very much lower figure of Kitty's horrid 
incubus ?" 

" Ah, but the inducement and the quid pro 
quo" Lord John brightly indicated, "are here 
much greater! In the case you speak of you 
will only have removed the incubus which, I 
grant you, she must and you must feel as 
horrid. In this other you pacify Lady Imber 
and marry Lady Grace : marry her to a man 
who has set his heart on her and of whom she 
has just expressed to himself a very kind 
and very high opinion." 

" She has expressed a very high opinion of 
you ? " Lord Theign scarce glowed with 
credulity. 

But the younger man held his ground. 
" She has told me she thoroughly likes me 
and that though a fellow feels an ass repeat- 
ing such things she thinks me perfectly 
charming." 

"A tremendous creature, eh, all round? 
Then," said Lord Theign, ''what does she 
want more ? " 
6 



82 THE OUTCRY 

" She very possibly wants nothing but I'm 
to that beastly degree, you see," his visitor 
patiently explained, "in the cleft stick of my 
fearfully positive mother's wants. Those are 
her 'terms/ and I don't mind saying that 
they're most disagreeable to me I quite hate 
'em : there ! Only I think it makes a jolly 
difference that I wouldn't touch 'em with a 
long pole if my personal feeling in respect to 
Lady Grace wasn't so immensely enlisted." 

" I assure you I'd chuck 'em out of window, 
my boy, if I didn't believe you'd be really 
good to her," Lord Theign returned with 
the properest spirit. 

It only encouraged his companion. "You 
will just tell her then, now and here, how good 
you honestly believe I shall be ? " 

This appeal required a moment a longer 
look at him. "You truly hold that that 
friendly guarantee, backed by my parental 
weight, will do your job ? " 

"That's the conviction I entertain." 

Lord Theign thought again. "Well, even 
if your conviction's just, that still doesn't tell 
me into which of my very empty pockets it 
will be of the least use for me to fumble." 



THE OUTCRY 83 

" Oh," Lord John laughed, " when a man has 
such a tremendous assortment of breeches ! " 
He pulled up, however, as, in his motion, his 
eye caught the great vista of the open rooms. 
"If it's a question of pockets and what's in 
'em here precisely is my man ! " This per- 
sonage had come back from his tour of obser- 
vation and was now, on the threshold of the 
hall, exhibited to Lord Theign as well. Lord 
John's welcome was warm. "I've had 
awfully to fail you, Mr. Bender, but I was on 
the point of joining you. Let me, however, 
still better, introduce you to our host." 



VII 



MR. BENDER indeed, formidably advancing, 
scarce had use for this assistance. " Happy to 
meet you especially in your beautiful home, 
Lord Theign." To which he added while the 
master of Dedborough stood good-humouredly 
passive to his approach : "I've been round, 
by your kind permission and the light of 
nature, and haven't required support ; though 
if I had there's a gentleman there who seemed 






84 THE OUTCRY 

prepared to allow me any amount." Mr. 
Bender, out of his abundance, evoked as by a 
suggestive hand this contributory figure. " A 
young, spare, nervous gentleman with eye- 
glasses I guess he's an author. A friend of 
yours too ? " he asked of Lord John. 

The answer was prompt and emphatic. 
" No, the gentleman is no friend at all of mine, 
Mr. Bender." 

" A friend of my daughter's," Lord Theign 
easily explained. " I hope they're looking 
after him." 

" Oh, they took care he had tea and bread 
and butter to any extent ; and were so good as 
to move something," Mr. Bender conscientiously 
added, " so that he could get up on a chair and 
see straight into the Moretto." 

This was a touch, however, that appeared to 
affect Lord John unfavourably. " Up on a 
chair ? I say ! " 

Mr. Bender took another view. " Why, I 
got right up myself a little more and I'd 
almost have begun to paw it! He got me 
quite interested " the proprietor of the picture 
would perhaps care to know "in that 
Moretto." And it was on these lines that Mr. 



THE OUTCRY 85 

Bender continued to advance. " I take it that 
your biggest value, however, Lord Theign, is 
your splendid Sir Joshua. Our friend there 
has a great deal to say about that too but it 
didn't lead to our moving any more furniture.'* 
On which he paused as to enjoy, with a show 
of his fine teeth, his host's reassurance. "It 
has yet, my impression of that picture, sir, led 
to something else. Are you prepared, Lord 
Theign, to entertain a proposition ? " 

Lord Theign met Mr. Bender's eyes while 
this inquirer left these few portentous words to 
speak for themselves. " To the effect that I 
part to you with ' The Beautiful Duchess of 
Waterbridge ' ? No, Mr. Bender, such a pro- 
position would leave me intensely cold." 

Lord John had meanwhile had a more 
headlong cry. " My dear Bender, 1 envy 
you ! " 

" I guess you don't envy me," his friend 
serenely replied, "as much as I envy Lord 
Theign." And then while Mr. Bender and the 
latter continued to face each other searchingly 
and firmly : " What I allude to is an overture 
of a strong and simple stamp such as perhaps 
would shed a softer light on the difficulties 



86 THE OUTCRY 

raised by association and attachment. I've 
had some experience of first shocks, and I'd 
be glad to meet you as man to man." 

Mr. Bender was, quite clearly, all genial and 
all sincere ; he intended no irony and used, con- 
sciously, no great freedom. Lord Theign, not 
less evidently, saw this, and it permitted him 
amusement. "As rich man to poor man is 
how I'm to understand it? For me to meet 
you" he added, " I should have to be tempted 
and I'm not even temptable. So there we 
are," he blandly smiled. 

His blandness appeared even for a moment 
to set an example to Lord John. " ' The 
Beautiful Duchess of Waterbridge,' Mr. 
Bender, is a golden apple of one of those 
great family trees of which respectable people 
don't lop off the branches whose venerable 
shade, in this garish and denuded age, they so 
much enjoy." 

Mr. Bender looked at him as if he had cut 
some irrelevant caper. "Then if they don't 
sell their ancestors where in the world are all 
the ancestors bought ? " 

" Doesn't it for the moment sufficiently 
answer your question," Lord Theign asked, 



THE OUTCRY 87 

" that they're definitely not bought at Ded- 
borough ? " 

"Why," said Mr. Bender with a wealthy 
patience, " you talk as if it were my interest to 
be reasonable which shows how little you 
understand. I'd be ashamed with the lovely 
ideas I have if I didn't make you kick." 
And his sturdy smile for it all fairly proclaimed 
his faith. "Well, I guess I can wait!" 

This again in turn visibly affected Lord 
John : marking the moment from which he, 
in spite of his cultivated levity, allowed an 
intenser and more sustained look to keep 
straying toward their host. " Mr. Bender's 
bound to have something ! " 

It was even as if after a minute Lord Theign 
had been reached by his friend's mute pressure. 
"'Something'?" 

"Something, Mr. Bender?" Lord John in- 
sisted. 

It made their visitor rather sharply fix him. 
" Why, have you an interest, Lord John ? " 

This personage, though undisturbed by the 
challenge, if such it was, referred it to Lord 
Theign. " Do you authorise me to speak a 
little as if I have an interest ? " 



88 THE OUTCRY 

Lord Theign gave the appeal and the 
speaker a certain attention, and then ap- 
peared rather sharply to turn away from them. 
" My dear fellow, you may amuse yourself at 
my expense as you like ! " 

" Oh, I don't mean at your expense," Lord 
John laughed " I mean at Mr. Bender's ! " 

" Well, go ahead, Lord John," said that 
gentleman, always easy, but always too, as you 
would have felt, aware of everything "go 
ahead, but don't sweetly hope to create in me 
any desire that doesn't already exist in the 
germ. The attempt has often been made, over 
here has in fact been organised on a consider- 
able scale ; but I guess I've got some peculiarity, 
for it doesn't seem as if the thing could be 
done. If the germ is there, on the other hand," 
Mr. Bender conceded, " it develops independ- 
ently of all encouragement." 

Lord John communicated again as in a par- 
ticular sense with Lord Theign. " He thinks 
I really mean to offer him something ! " 

Lord Theign, who seemed to wish to adver- 
tise a degree of detachment from the issue, or 
from any other such, strolled off, in his restless- 
ness, toward the door that opened to the 



THE OUTCRY 89 

terrace, only stopping on his way to light a 
cigarette from a matchbox on a small table. 
It was but after doing so that he made the 
remark: " Ah, Mr. Bender may easily be too 
much for you ! " 

4 'That makes me the more sorry, sir," said 
his visitor, " not to have been enough for you ! " 

" I risk it, at any rate," Lord John went on 
" I put you, Bender, the question of whether 
you wouldn't 'love,' as you say, to acquire that 
Moretto." 

Mr. Bender's large face had a commensurate 
gaze. " As I say? I haven't said anything of 
the sort!" 

"But you do 'love,' you know," Lord John 
slightly overgrimaced. 

" I don't when I don't want to. I'm different 
from most people I can love or not as I like. 
The trouble with that Moretto," Mr. Bender 
continued, "is that it ain't what I'm after." 

His "after" had somehow, for the ear, the 
vividness of a sharp whack on the resisting 
surface of things, and was concerned doubtless 
in Lord John's speaking again across to their 
host. " The worst he can do for me, you see, 
is to refuse it." 



90 THE OUTCRY 

Lord Theign, who practically had his back 
turned and was fairly dandling about in his 
impatience, tossed out to the terrace the cigar- 
ette he had but just lighted. Yet he faced 
round to reply. " It's the very first time in the 
history of this house (a long one, Mr. Bender) 
that a picture, or anything else in it, has been 
offered ! " 

It was not imperceptible that even if he 
hadn't dropped Mr. Bender mightn't have been 
markedly impressed. "Then it must be the 
very first time such an offer has failed." 

"Oh, it isn't that we in the least press it !" 
Lord Theign quite naturally laughed. 

"Ah, I beg your pardon I press it very 
hard ! " And Lord John, as taking from his 
face and manner a cue for further humorous 
license, went so far as to emulate, though 
sympathetically enough, their companion's native 
form. " You don't mean to say you don't feel 
the interest of that Moretto ? " 

Mr. Bender, quietly confident, took his time 
to reply. "Well, if you had seen me up on 
that chair you'd have thought I did." 

"Then you must have stepped down from 
the chair properly impressed." 



THE OUTCRY 91 

" I stepped down quite impressed with that 
young man." 

" Mr. Crimble ?" it came after an instant to 
Lord John. " With his opinion, really ? Then 
I hope he's aware of the picture's value." 

"You had better ask him," Mr. Bender 
observed. 

"Oh, we don't depend here on the Mr. 
Crimbles ! " Lord John returned. 

Mr. Bender took a longer look at him. 
" Are you aware of the value yourself? " 

His friend resorted again, as for the amuse- 
ment of the thing, to their entertainer. " Am 
I aware of the value of the Moretto ?" 

Lord Theign, who had meanwhile lighted 
another cigarette, appeared, a bit extravagantly 
smoking, to wish to put an end to his effect 
of hovering aloof. " That question needn't 
trouble us when I see how much Mr. Bender 
himself knows about it." 

"Well, Lord Theign, I only know what that 
young man puts it at." And then as the others 
waited, "Ten thousand," said Mr. Bender. 

" Ten thousand ? " The owner of the work 
showed no emotion. 

"Well," said Lord John again in Mr. 



92 THE OUTCRY 

Bender's style, " what's the matter with ten 
thousand ? " 

The subject of his gay tribute considered. 
" There's nothing the matter with ten 
thousand." 

"Then," Lord Theign asked, " is there 
anything the matter with the picture ? " 

" Yes, sir I guess there is." 

It gave an upward push to his lordship's 
eyebrows. " But what in the world ? " 

" Well, that's just the question ! " 

The eyebrows continued to rise. " Does he 
pretend there's a question of whether it is a 
Moretto?" 

" That's what he was up there trying to 
find out." 

" But if the value's, according to himself, ten 
thousand ? " 

''Why, of course," said Mr. Bender, "it's a 
fine work anyway." 

"Then," Lord Theign brought good- 
naturedly out, "what's the matter with you, 
Mr. Bender?" 

That gentleman was perfectly clear. " The 
matter with me, Lord Theign, is that I've no 
use for a ten thousand picture." 



THE OUTCRY 93 

" ' No use ' ? " the expression had an oddity. 
" But what's it your idea to do with such things ? " 

"I mean," Mr. Bender explained, " that a 
picture of that rank is not what I'm after." 

"The figure," said his noble host speaking 
thus, under pressure, commercially " is beyond 
what you see your way to ? " 

But Lord John had jumped at the truth. 
"The matter with Mr. Bender is that he sees 
his way much further." 

" Further ? " their companion echoed. 

" The matter with Mr. Bender is that he 
wants to give millions." 

Lord Theign sounded this abyss with a 
smile. "Well, there would be no difficulty 
about that, I think ! " 

"Ah," said his guest, "you know the basis, 
sir, on which I'm ready to pay." 

" On the basis then of the Sir Joshua," Lord 
John inquired, " how far would you go ? " 

Mr. Bender indicated by a gesture that on a 
question reduced to a moiety by its conditional 
form he could give but semi-satisfaction. 
"Well, I'd go all the way." 

" He wants, you see," Lord John elucidated, 
"an ideally expensive thing." 



94 THE OUTCRY 

Lord Theign appeared to decide after a 
moment to enter into the pleasant spirit of this ; 
which he did by addressing his younger friend. 
" Then why shouldn't I make even the Moretto 
as expensive as he desires ? " 

" Because you can't do violence to that 
master's natural modesty," Mr. Bender declared 
before Lord John had time to speak. And 
conscious at this moment of the reappearance 
of his fellow-explorer, he at once supplied a 
further light. " I guess this gentleman at any 
rate can tell you." 



VIII 

HUGH CRIMBLE had come back from his 
voyage of discovery, and it was visible as he 
stood there flushed and quite radiant that he 
had caught in his approach Lord Theign's last 
inquiry and Mr. Bender's reply to it. You 
would have imputed to him on the spot the 
lively possession of a new idea, the sustaining 
sense of a message important enough to justify 
his irruption. He looked from one to the 
other of the three men, scattered a little by the 



THE OUTCRY 95 

sight of him, but attached eyes of recognition 
then to Lord Theign's, whom he remained an 
instant longer communicatively smiling at. 
After which, as you might have gathered, he 
all confidently plunged, taking up the talk 
where the others had left it. "I should say, 
Lord Theign if you'll allow me, in regard to 
what you appear to have been discussing, that 
it depends a good deal on just that question 
of what your Moretto, at any rate, may be 
presumed or proved to 'be.' Let me thank 
you," he cheerfully went on, "for your kind 
leave to go over your treasures." 

The personage he so addressed was, as we 
know, nothing if not generally affable ; yet if 
that was just then apparent it was through 
a shade of coolness for the slightly heated 
familiarity of so plain, or at least so free, a 
young man in eye-glasses, now for the first time 
definitely apprehended. "Oh, I've scarcely 
' treasures ' but I've some things of interest." 

Hugh, however, entering the opulent circle, 
as it were, clearly took account of no breath 
of a chill. " I think possible, my lord, that 
you've a great treasure if you've really so 
high a rarity as a splendid Mantovano." 



96 THE OUTCRY 

"A * Mantovano ' ? " You wouldn't have 
been sure that his lordship didn't pronounce 
the word for the first time in his life. 

" There have been supposed to be only 
seven real examples about the world ; so that 
if by an extraordinary chance you find your- 
self the possessor of a magnificent eighth " 

But Lord John had already broken in. 
"Why, there you are, Mr. Bender!" 

"Oh, Mr. Bender, with whom I've made 
acquaintance," Hugh returned, "was there as 
it began to work in me " 

"That your Moretto, Lord Theign " Mr. 
Bender took their informant up "isn't, after 
all, a Moretto at all." And he continued 
amusedly to Hugh : "It began to work in 
you, sir, like very strong drink ! " 

" Do I understand you to suggest," Lord 
Theign asked of the startling young man, 
"that my precious picture isn't genuine?" 

Well, Hugh knew exactly what he suggested. 
" As a picture, Lord Theign, as a great portrait, 
one of the most genuine things in Europe. 
But it strikes me as probable that from far 
back for reasons ! there has been a wrong 
attribution ; that the work has been, in other 



THE OUTCRY 97 

words, traditionally, obstinately miscalled. It 
has passed for a Moretto, and at first I quite 
took it for one ; but I suddenly, as I looked 
and looked and saw and saw, began to doubt, 
and now I know why I doubted." 

Lord Theign had during this speech kept 
his eyes on the ground ; but he raised them 
to Mr. Crimble's almost palpitating presence 
for the remark: "I'm bound to say that I 
hope you've some very good grounds ! " 

"I've three or four, Lord Theign ; they 
seem to me of the best as yet. They made 
me wonder and wonder and then light 
splendidly broke." 

His lordship didn't stint his attention. 
" Reflected, you mean, from other Mantovanos 
that I don't know ? " 

"I mean from those I know myself," said 
Hugh; "and I mean from fine analogies with 
one in particular." 

"Analogies that in all these years, these cen- 
turies, have so remarkably not been noticed ? " 

"Well," Hugh competently explained, 
" they're a sort of thing the very sense of, the 
value and meaning of, are a highly modern 
in fact a quite recent growth." 



98 THE OUTCRY 

Lord John at this professed with cordiality 
that he at least quite understood. " Oh, we 
know a lot more about our pictures and things 
than ever our ancestors did ! " 

"Well, I guess it's enough for me" Mr. 
Bender contributed, "that your ancestors knew 
enough to get 'em ! " 

" Ah, that doesn't go so far," cried Hugh, 
" unless we ourselves know enough to keep 
'em ! " 

The words appeared to quicken in a manner 
Lord Theign's view of the speaker. " Were 
your ancestors, Mr. Crimble, great collectors ? " 

Arrested, it might be, in his general assur- 
ance, Hugh wondered and smiled. "Mine 
collectors? Oh, I'm afraid I haven't any to 
speak of. Only it has seemed to me for a 
long time," he added, " that on that head we 
should all feel together." 

Lord Theign looked for a moment as if 
these were rather large presumptions ; then he 
put them in their place a little curtly. "It's 
one thing to keep our possessions for ourselves 
it's another to keep them for other people." 

"Well," Hugh good-humouredly returned, 
"I'm perhaps not so absolutely sure of myself, 



THE OUTCRY 99 

if you press me, as that I shan't be glad of a 
higher and wiser opinion I mean than my 
own. It would be awfully interesting, if you'll 
allow me to say so, to have the judgment of 
one or two of the great men." 

" You're not yourself, Mr. Crimble, one of 
the great men ? " his host asked with tempered 
irony. 

"Well, I guess he's going to be, anyhow," 
Mr. Bender cordially struck in ; " and this 
remarkable exhibition of intelligence may just 
let him loose on the world, mayn't it ? " 

"Thank you, Mr. Bender!" and Hugh 
obviously tried to look neither elated nor 
snubbed. "I've too much still to learn, but 
I'm learning every day, and I shall have learnt 
immensely this afternoon." 

" Pretty well at my expense, however," Lord 
Theign laughed, "if you demolish a name 
we've held for generations so dear." 

" You may have held the name dear, my 
lord," his young critic answered; "but my 
whole point is that, if I'm right, you've held 
the picture itself cheap." 

" Because a Mantovano," said Lord John, 
"is so much greater a value ? " 



ioo THE OUTCRY 

Hugh met his eyes a moment. " Are you 
talking of values pecuniary ? " 

" What values are not pecuniary ? " 

Hugh might, during his hesitation, have 
been imagined to stand off a little from the 
question. "Well, some things have in a 
higher degree that one, and some have the 
associational or the factitious, and some the 
clear artistic." 

" And some," Mr. Bender opined, " have them 
all in the highest degree. But what you 
mean," he went on, "is that a Mantovano 
would come higher under the hammer than a 
Moretto ? " 

"Why, sir," the young man returned, "there 
aren't any, as I've just stated, to ' come.' I 
account or I easily can for every one of the 
very small number." 

" Then do you consider that you account for 
this one ? " 

" I believe I shall if you'll give me time." 

" Oh, time ! " Mr. Bender impatiently sighed. 
" But we'll give you all we've got only I guess 
it isn't much." And he appeared freely to 
invite their companions to join in this estimate. 
They listened to him, however, they watched 



THE OUTCRY 101 

him, for the moment, but in silence, and with 
the next he had gone on : "How much higher 
if your idea is correct about it would Lord 
Theign's picture come ? " 

Hugh turned to that nobleman. " Does Mr. 
Bender mean come to him, my lord ? " 

Lord Theign looked again hard at Hugh, and 
then harder than he had done yet at his other 
invader. " I don't know what Mr. Bender 
means ! " With which he turned off. 

"Well, I guess I mean that it would come 
higher to me than to anyone ! But how much 
higher ? " the American continued to Hugh. 

" How much higher to you ?" 

"Oh, I can size that. How much higher 
as a Mantovano ? " 

Unmistakably for us at least our young 
man was gaining time ; he had the instinct of 
circumspection and delay. " To any one ? " 

" To any one." 

" Than as a Moretto ? " Hugh continued. 

It even acted on Lord John's nerves. 
" That's what we're talking about really ! " 

But Hugh still took his ease ; as if, with his 
eyes first on Bender and then on Lord Theign, 
whose back was practically presented, he were 



102 THE OUTCRY 

covertly studying signs. " Well," he presently 
said, "in view of the very great interest com- 
bined with the very great rarity, more than 
ah more than can be estimated off-hand." 

It made Lord Theign turn round. " But a 
fine Moretto has a very great rarity and a 
very great interest." 

" Yes but not on the whole the same 
amount of either." 

"No, not on the whole the same amount of 
either ! " Mr. Bender judiciously echoed it. 
" But how," he freely pursued, "are you going 
to find out ? " 

" Have I your permission, Lord Theign," 
Hugh brightly asked, " to attempt to find out ? " 

The question produced on his lordship's part 
a visible, a natural anxiety. "What would it 
be your idea then to do with my property ? " 

" Nothing at all here it could all be done, 
I think, at Verona. What besets, what quite 
haunts me," Hugh explained, "is the vivid 
image of a Mantovano one of the glories of 
the short list in a private collection in that 
place. The conviction grows in me that the 
two portraits must be of the same original. In 
fact I'll bet my head," the young man quite 



THE OUTCRY 103 

ardently wound up, "that the wonderful sub- 
ject of the Verona picture, a very great person 
clearly, is none other than the very great 
person of yours." 

Lord Theign had listened with interest. 
" Mayn't he be that and yet from another 
hand?" 

"It isn't another hand" oh Hugh was 
quite positive. "It's the hand of the very 
same painter." 

"How can you prove it's the same ? " 

"Only by the most intimate internal evi- 
dence, I admit and evidence that of course 
has to be estimated." 

"Then who," Lord Theign asked, "is to 
estimate it ? " 

"Well" Hugh was all ready "will you 
let Pappendick, one of the first authorities in 
Europe, a good friend of mine, in fact more or 
less my master, and who is generally to be 
found at Brussels ? I happen to know he 
knows your picture he once spoke to me of 
it ; and he'll go and look again at the Verona 
one, he'll go and judge our issue, if I apply to 
him, in the light of certain new tips that I shall 
be able to give him." 



104 THE OUTCRY 

Lord Theign appeared to wonder. " If you 
' apply ' to him ? " 

" Like a shot, I believe, if I ask it of him 



as a service." 



"A service to you ? He'll be very oblig- 
ing," his lordship smiled. 

"Well, I've obliged him!" Hugh readily 
retorted. 

"The obligation will be to me " Lord 
Theign spoke more formally. 

11 Well, the satisfaction," said Hugh, " will be 
to all of us. The things Pappendick has seen he 
intensely, ineffaceably keeps in mind, to every 
detail ; so that he'll tell me as no one else really 
can if the Verona man is your man." 

"But then," asked Mr. Bender, "we've got 
to believe anyway what he says ? " 

"The market," said Lord John with em- 
phasis, "would have to believe that's the 
point." 

"Oh," Hugh returned lightly, "the market 
will have nothing to do with it, I hope ; but I 
think you'll feel when he has spoken that you 
really know where you are." 

Mr. Bender couldn't doubt of that. "Oh, if 
he gives us a bigger thing we won't complain. 



THE OUTCRY 105 

Only, how long will it take him to get there ? 
I want him to start right away." 

"Well, as I'm sure he'll be deeply in- 
terested " 

11 We may " Mr. Bender took it straight up 
"get news next week? " 

Hugh addressed his reply to Lord Theign ; 
it was already a little too much as if he and 
the American between them were snatching 
the case from that possessor's hands. " The 
day I hear from Pappendick you shall have a 
full report. And," he conscientiously added, 
" if I'm proved to have been unfortunately 
wrong ! " 

His lordship easily pointed the moral. 
"You'll have caused me some inconvenience." 

" Of course I shall," the young man un- 
reservedly agreed "like a wanton meddling 
ass ! " His candour, his freedom had decidedly 
a note of their own. " But my conviction, 
after those moments with your picture, was too 
strong for me not to speak and, since you 
allow it, I face the danger and risk the test." 

" I allow it of course in the form of business." 

This produced in Hugh a certain blankness. 
"'Business'?" 



io6 THE OUTCRY 

" If I consent to the inquiry I pay for the 
inquiry." 

Hugh demurred. " Even if I turn out 
mistaken ? " 

' 'You make me in any event your proper 
charge." 

The young man thought again, and then as 
for vague accommodation: "Oh, my charge 
won't be high ! " 

"Ah," Mr. Bender protested, "it ought to 
be handsome if the thing's marked up I" After 
which he looked at his watch. " But I guess 
I've got to go, Lord Theign, though your 
lovely old Duchess for it's to her I've lost my 
heart does cry out for me again." 

" You'll find her then still there," Lord John ob- 
served with emphasis, but with his eyes for the 
time on Lord Theign ; " and if you want another 
look at her I'll presently come and take one too." 

"I'll order your car to the garden-front," 
Lord Theign added to this ; " you'll reach it 
from the saloon, but I'll see you again first." 

Mr. Bender glared as with the round full 
force of his pair of motor lamps. "Well, if 
you're ready to talk about anything, I am. 
Good-bye, Mr. Crimble." 



THE OUTCRY 107 

" Good-bye, Mr. Bender." But Hugh, ad- 
dressing their host while his fellow-guest 
returned to the saloon, broke into the familiarity 
of confidence. " As if you could be ready to 
'talk'!" 

This produced on the part of the others 
present a mute exchange that could only have 
denoted surprise at all the irrepressible young 
outsider thus projected upon them took for 
granted. " I've an idea," said Lord John to his 
friend, " that you're quite ready to talk with me." 

Hugh then, with his appetite so richly quick- 
ened, could but rejoice. " Lady Grace spoke 
to me of things in the library." 

" You'll find it that way " Lord Theign gave 
the indication. 

" Thanks," said Hugh elatedly, and hastened 
away. 

Lord John, when he had gone, found relief 
in a quick comment. " Very sharp, no doubt 
but he wants taking down." 

The master of Dedborough wouldn't have 
put it so crudely, but the young expert did 
bring certain things home. " The people my 
daughters, in the exercise of a wild freedom, do 
pick up ! " 



io8 THE OUTCRY 

" Well, don't you see that all you've got to 
do on the question we're dealing with is to 
claim your very own wild freedom ? Surely 
I'm right in feeling you," Lord John further 
remarked, " to have jumped at once to my idea 
that Bender is heaven-sent and at what they 
call the psychologic moment, don't they ? to 
point that moral. Why look anywhere else for 
a sum of money that smaller or greater you 
can find with perfect ease in that extraordinarily 
bulging pocket ? " 

Lord Theign, slowly pacing the hall again, 
threw up his hands. " Ah, with 'perfect ease* 
can scarcely be said ! " 

" Why not? when he absolutely thrusts his 
dirty dollars down your throat." 

" Oh, I'm not talking of ease to him" 
Lord Theign returned " I'm talking of ease 
to myself. I shall have to make a sacrifice." 

"Why not then for so great a convenience 
gallantly make it ? " 

" Ah, my dear chap, if you want me to sell 
my Sir Joshua ! " 

But the horror in the words said enough, 
and Lord John felt its chill. " I don't make 
a point of that God forbid! But there are 






THE OUTCRY 109 

other things to which the objection wouldn't 
apply." 

" You see how it applies in the case of the 
Moretto for him. A mere Moretto," said 
Lord Theign, " is too cheap for a Yankee ' on 
the spend.' " 

" Then the Mantovano wouldn't be." 

"It remains to be proved that it is a 
Mantovano." 

"Well," said Lord John, "go into it." 

" Hanged if I won't ! " his friend broke out 
after a moment. "It would suit me. I mean " 
the explanation came after a brief intensity 
of thought " the possible size of his cheque 
would." 

" Oh," said Lord John gaily, " I guess there's 
no limit to the possible size of his cheque ! " 

"Yes, it would suit me, it would suit me!" 
the elder man, standing there, audibly mused. 
But his air changed and a lighter question 
came up to him as he saw his daughter re- 
appear at the door from the terrace. " Well, 
the infant horde ? " he immediately put to her. 

Lady Grace came in, dutifully accounting 
for them. "They've marched off in a huge 
procession." 



no THE OUTCRY 

" Thank goodness ! And our friends ? " 

"All playing tennis," she said "save those 
who are sitting it out." To which she added, 
as to explain her return, "Mr. Crimble has 
gone?" 

Lord John took upon him to say, "He's 
in the library, to which you addressed him 
making discoveries." 

"Not then, I hope," she smiled, "to our 
disadvantage ! " 

"To your very great honour and glory." 
Lord John clearly valued the effect he might 
produce. "Your Moretto of Brescia do you 
know what it really and splendidly is ? " And 
then as the girl, in her surprise, but wondered : 
"A Mantovano, neither more nor less. Ever 
so much more swagger." 

"A Mantovano?" Lady Grace echoed, 
"Why, how tremendously jolly!" 

Her father was struck. " Do you know the 
artist of whom I had never heard ? " 

" Yes, something of the little that is known." 
And she rejoiced as her knowledge came to 
her. "He's a tremendous swell, because, 
great as he was, there are but seven proved 
examples " 



THE OUTCRY in 

" With this of yours," Lord John broke in, 
"there are eight." 

" Then why haven't I known about him?" 
Lord Theign put it as if so many other people 
were guilty for this. 

His daughter was the first to plead for the 
vague body. " Why, I suppose in order that 
you should have exactly this pleasure, father." 

" Oh, pleasures not desired are like acquaint- 
ances not sought they rather bore one ! " 
Lord Theign sighed. With which he moved 
away from her. 

Her eyes followed him an instant then she 
smiled at their guest. " Is he bored at having 
the higher prize if you're sure it is the 
higher?" 

"Mr. Crimble is sure because if he isn't," 
Lord John added, "he's a wretch." 

"Well," she returned, "as he's certainly 
not a wretch it must be true. And fancy," she 
exclaimed further, though as more particularly 
for herself, "our having suddenly incurred this 
immense debt to him ! " 

"Oh, I shall pay Mr. Crimble!" said her 
father, who had turned round. 

The whole question appeared to have pro- 



ii2 THE OUTCRY 

voked in Lord John a rise of spirits and a 
flush of humour. " Don't you let him stick it 



on." 



His host, however, bethinking himself, 
checked him. " Go you to Mr. Bender 
straight ! " 

Lord John saw the point. " Yes till he 
leaves. But I shall find you here, shan't I ? " 
he asked with all earnestness of Lady Grace. 

She had an hesitation, but after a look at her 
father she assented. "I'll wait for you." 

"Then a tantot!" It made him show for 
happy as, waving his hand at her, he proceeded 
to seek Mr. Bender in presence of the object 
that most excited that gentleman's appetite 
to say nothing of the effect involved on Lord 
John's own. 



IX 



LORD THEIGN, when he had gone, revolved 
it might have been nervously about the place 
a little, but soon broke ground. " He'll have 
told you, I understand, that I've promised to 
speak to you for him. But I understand also 



THE OUTCRY 113 

that he has found something to say for him- 
self." 

"Yes, we talked a while since," the girl 
said. " At least he did." 

"Then if you listened I hope you listened 
with a good grace." 

"Oh, he speaks very well and I've never 
disliked him." 

It pulled her father up. "Is that all when 
I think so much of him ? " 

She seemed to say that she had, to her own 
mind, been liberal and gone far ; but she 
waited a little. " Do you think very, 'very 
much ? " 

" Surely I've made my good opinion clear 
to you ! " 

Again she had a pause. " Oh yes, I've seen 
you like him and believe in him and I've 
found him pleasant and clever." 

"He has never had," Lord Theign more or 
less ingeniously explained, "what I call a real 
show." But the character under discussion 
could after all be summed up without searching 
analysis. " I consider nevertheless that there's 
plenty in him." 

It was a moderate claim, to which Lady 

8 



ii4 THE OUTCRY 

Grace might assent. " He strikes me as 
naturally quick and well, nice. But I agree 
with you that he hasn't had a chance." 

11 Then if you can see your way by sympathy 
and confidence to help him to one I dare say 
you'll find your reward." 

For a third time she considered, as if a 
certain curtness in her companion's manner 
rather hindered, in such a question, than 
helped. Didn't he simplify too much, you 
would have felt her ask, and wasn't his visible 
wish for brevity of debate a sign of his uncom- 
fortable and indeed rather irritated sense of his 
not making a figure in it ? " Do you desire it 
very particularly ? " was, however, all she at 
last brought out. 

" I should like it exceedingly if you act 
from conviction. Then of course only ; but 
of one thing I'm myself convinced of what he 
thinks of yourself and feels for you." 

"Then would you mind my waiting a 
little? " she asked. " I mean to be absolutely 
sure of myself." After which, on his delaying 
to agree, she added frankly, as to help her 
case : " Upon my word, father, I should like to 
do what would please you." 






THE OUTCRY 115 

But it determined in him a sharper impati- 
ence. " Ah, what would please me! Don't 
put it off on * me ' ! Judge absolutely for your- 
self" he slightly took himself up "in the 
light of my having consented to do for him 
what I always hate to do : deviate from my 
normal practice of never intermeddling. If 
I've deviated now you can judge. But to do 
so all round, of course, take in reason ! your 
time." 

" May I ask then," she said, "for still a little 
more?" 

He looked at this verily as if it was not 
in reason. " You know," he then returned, 
"what he'll feel that a sign of." 

"Well, I'll tell him what I mean." 

"Then I'll send him to you." 

He glanced at his watch and was going, but 
after a " Thanks, father," she had stopped him. 
"There's one thing more." An embarrass- 
ment showed in her manner, but at the cost of 
some effect of earnest abruptness she sur- 
mounted it. "What does your American 
Mr. Bender want?" 

Lord Theign plainly felt the challenge. 
" ' My ' American ? He's none of mine ! " 



n6 THE OUTCRY 

"Well then Lord John's." 

" He's none of his either more, I mean, 
than anyone else's. He's everyone's American, 
literally to all appearance ; and I've not to 
tell you, surely, with the freedom of your own 
visitors, how people stalk in and out here." 

''No, father certainly," she said. "You're 
splendidly generous." 

His eyes seemed rather sharply to ask her 
then how he could improve on that ; but he 
added as if it were enough : "What the man 
must by this time want more than anything 
else is his car." 

"Not then anything of ours?" she still 
insisted. 

"Of 'ours'?" he echoed with a frown. 
" Are you afraid he has an eye to something of 
yours ? " 

"Why, if we've a new treasure which we 
certainly have if we possess a Mantovano 
haven't we all, even I, an immense interest in 
it?" And before he could answer, "Is that 
exposed ? " she asked. 

Lord Theign, a little unready, cast about 
at his storied halls ; any illusion to the 
41 exposure" of the objects they so solidly 



THE OUTCRY 117 

sheltered was obviously unpleasant to him. 
But then it was as if he found at a stroke 
both his own reassurance and his daughter's. 
"How can there be a question of it when he 
only wants Sir Joshuas ? " 

" He wants ours ? " the girl gasped. 
" At absolutely any price." 
" But you're not," she cried, " discussing it ? " 
He hesitated as between chiding and con- 
tenting her then he handsomely chose. " My 
dear child, for what do you take me ? " With 
which he impatiently started, through the long 
and stately perspective, for the saloon. 

She sank into a chair when he had gone ; 
she sat there some moments in a visible tension 
of thought, her hands clasped in her lap and 
her dropped eyes fixed and unperceiving ; but 
she sprang up as Hugh Crimble, in search of 
her, again stood before her. He presented 
himself as with winged sandals. 

" What luck to find you ! I must take my 
spin back." 

" You've seen everything as you wished ? " 
"Oh," he smiled, " I've seen wonders." 
She showed her pleasure. "Yes, we've got 
some things." 



n8 THE OUTCRY 

" So Mr. Bender says ! " he laughed. 
"You've got five or six " 

' ' Only five or six?" she cried in bright 
alarm. 

11 ' Only ' ? " he continued to laugh. " Why, 
that's enormous, five or six things of the first 
importance ! But I think I ought to mention 
to you," he added, "a most barefaced ' Rubens ' 
there in the library." 

"It isn't a Rubens?" 

" No more than I'm a Ruskin." 

" Then you'll brand us expose us for it ? " 

" No, I'll let you off I'll be quiet if you're 
good, if you go straight. I'll only hold it in 
terrorem. One can't be sure in these dreadful 
days that's always to remember ; so that if 
you're not good I'll come down on you with it. 
But to balance against that threat," he went 
on, "I've made the very grandest find. At 
least I believe I have ! " 

She was all there for this news. "Of the 
Mantovano hidden in the other thing ? " 

Hugh wondered almost as if she had been 
before him. "You don't mean to say youve 
had the idea of that ? " 

" No, but my father has told me." 



THE OUTCRY 119 

" And is your father," he eagerly asked, 
4 'really gratified?" 

With her conscious eyes on him her eyes 
could clearly be very conscious about her father 
she considered a moment. "He always 
prefers old associations and appearances to 
new ; but I'm sure he'll resign himself if you 
see your way to a certainty." 

"Well, it will be a question of the weight 
of expert opinion that I shall invoke. But I'm 
not afraid," he resolutely said, "and I shall 
make the thing, from its splendid rarity, the 
crown and flower of your glory." 

Her serious face shone at him with a 
charmed gratitude. "It's awfully beautiful 
then your having come to us so. It's awfully 
beautiful your having brought us this way, in 
a flash as dropping out of a chariot of fire 
more light and what you apparently feel with 
myself as more honour/' 

"Ah, the beauty's in your having yourself 
done it!" he returned. He gave way to the 
positive joy of it. "If I've brought the ' light ' 
and the rest that's to say the very useful 
information who in the world was it brought 



120 THE OUTCRY 

She had a gesture of protest. " You'd have 
come in some other way." 

"I'm not so sure! I'm beastly shy little 
as I may seem to show it : save in great 
causes, when I'm horridly bold and hideously 
offensive. Now at any rate I only know what 
has been." She turned off for it, moving away 
from him as with a sense of mingled things 
that made for unrest ; and he had the next 
moment grown graver under the impression. 
" But does anything in it all," he asked, 
" trouble you ? " 

She faced about across the wider space, and 
there was a different note in what she brought 
out. " I don't know what forces me so to tell 
you things." 

"'Tell' me?" he stared. "Why, you've 
told me nothing more monstrous than that I've 
been welcome ! " 

"Well, however that may be, what did you 
mean just now by the chance of our not ' going 
straight ' ? When you said you'd expose our 
bad or is it our false ? Rubens in the event 
of a certain danger." 

" Oh, in the event of your ever being bribed " 
he laughed again as with relief. And then 



THE OUTCRY 121 

as her face seemed to challenge the word : 
" Why, to let anything of your best ! 
ever leave Dedborough. By which I mean 
really of course leave the country." She 
turned again on this, and something in her 
air made him wonder. " I hope you don't 
feel there is such a danger ? I understood 
from you half an hour ago that it was un- 
thinkable." 

" Well, it was, to me, half an hour ago," she 
said as she came nearer. " But if it has since 
come up ? " 

" ' If it has ! But has it ? In the form of 
that monster ? What Mr. Bender wants is the 
great Duchess," he recalled. 

"And my father won't sell her? No, he 
won't sell the great Duchess there I feel safe. 
But he greatly needs a certain sum of money 
or he thinks he does and I've just had a talk 
with him." 

"In which he has told you that ? " 

"He has told me nothing," Lady Grace said 
"or else told me quite other things. But 
the more I think of them the more it comes to 
me that he feels urged or tempted " 

"To despoil and denude these walls?" 



122 THE OUTCRY 

Hugh broke in, looking about in his sharper 
apprehension. 

" Yes, to satisfy, to save my sister. Now 
do you think our state so ideal ? " she 
asked but without elation for her hint of 
triumph. 

He had no answer for this save " Ah, but 
you terribly interest me. May I ask what's 
the matter with your sister ? " 

Oh, she wanted to go on straight now ! 
" The matter is in the first place that she's 
too dazzlingly, dreadfully beautiful." 

"More beautiful than you?" his sincerity 
easily risked. 

" Millions of times." Sad, almost sombre, 
she hadn't a shade of coquetry. ''Kitty has 
debts great heaped-up gaming debts." 

" But to such amounts ? " 

" Incredible amounts it appears. And 
mountains of others too. She throws herself 
all on our father." 

" And he has to pay them ? There's no one 
else?" Hugh asked. 

She waited as if he might answer himself, 
and then as he apparently didn't, " He's only 
afraid there may be someone else that's how she 



THE OUTCRY 123 

makes him do it," she said. And " Now do 
you think," she pursued, "that I don't tell you 
things ? " 

He turned them over in his young percep- 
tion and pity, the things she told him. "Oh, 
oh, oh ! " And then, in the great place, while 
as, just spent by the effort of her disclosure, 
she moved from him again, he took them all 
in. " That's the situation that, as you say, 
may force his hand." 

" It absolutely, I feel, does force it." And 
the renewal of her appeal brought her round. 
4 ' Isn't it too lovely ? " 

His frank disgust answered. "It's too 
damnable ! " 

" And it's you," she quite terribly smiled, 
"who by the ' irony of fate'! have given 
him help." 

He smote his head in the light of it. " By 
the Mantovano ? " 

" By the possible Mantovano as a substi- 
tute for the impossible Sir Joshua. You've 
made him aware of a value." 

" Ah, but the value's to be fixed ! " 

" Then Mr. Bender will fix it ! " 

"Oh, but as he himself would say I'll fix 



i2 4 THE OUTCRY 

Mr. Bender!" Hugh declared. "And he 
won't buy a pig in a poke." 

This cleared the air while they looked at 
each other ; yet she had already asked : 
"What in the world can you do, and how in 
the world can you do it ? " 

Well, he was too excited for decision. " I 
don't quite see now, but give me time." And 
he took out his watch as already to measure it. 
" Oughtn't I before I go to say a word to Lord 
Theign?" 

" Is it your idea to become a lion in his 
path?" 

"Well, say a cub as that's what I'm afraid 
he'll call me ! But I think I should speak to 
him." 

She drew a conclusion momentarily dark. 
" He'll have to learn in that case that I've told 
you of my fear." 

"And is there any good reason why he 
shouldn't ? " 

She kept her eyes on him and the darkness 
seemed to drop. "No!" she at last replied, 
and, having gone to touch an electric bell, was 
with him again. " But I think I'm rather sorry 
for you." 



THE OUTCRY 125 

" Does that represent a reason why I should 
be so for you ? " 

For a little she said nothing ; but after that : 
"None whatever! " 

" Then is the sister of whom you speak 
Lady Imber?" 

Lady Grace, at this, raised her hand in 
caution : the butler had arrived, with due 
gravity, in answer to her ring ; to whom she 
made known her desire. " Please say to his 
lordship in the saloon or wherever that Mr. 
Crimble must go." When Banks had de- 
parted, however, accepting the responsibility of 
this mission, she answered her friend's question. 
"The sister of whom I speak is Lady Imber." 

" She loses then so heavily at bridge ? " 

" She loses more than she wins." 

Hugh gazed as with interest at these 
oddities of the great. "And yet she still 
plays ? " 

"What else, in her set, should she do ?" 

This he was quite unable to say ; but he 
could after a moment's exhibition of the extent 
to which he was out of it put a question 
instead. "So you're not in her set?" 

" I'm not in her set." 



126 THE OUTCRY 

"Then decidedly," he said, " I don't want to 
save her. I only want " 

He was going on, but she broke in : "I 
know what you want ! " 

He kept his eyes on her till he had made 
sure and this deep exchange between them 
had a beauty. " So you're now with me ? " 

"I'm now with you ! " 

"Then," said Hugh, "shake hands on it." 

He offered her his hand, she took it, and 
their grasp became, as you would have seen 
in their fine young faces, a pledge in which 
they stood a minute locked. Lord Theign 
came upon them from the saloon in the midst 
of the process ; on which they separated as 
with an air of its having consisted but of 
Hugh's leave-taking. With some such form 
of mere civility, at any rate, he appeared, by 
the manner in which he addressed himself to 
Hugh, to have supposed them occupied. 

"I'm sorry my daughter can't keep you; 
but I must at least thank you for your interest- 
ing view of my picture." 

Hugh indulged in a brief and mute, though 
very grave, acknowledgment of this expression ; 
presently speaking, however, as on a resolve 



THE OUTCRY 127 

taken with a sense of possibly awkward con- 
sequences : " May I before you're sure of 
your indebtedness put you rather a straight 
question, Lord Theign?" It sounded doubt- 
less, and of a sudden, a little portentous as 
was in fact testified to by his lordship's quick 
stiff stare, full of wonder at so free a note. 
But Hugh had the courage of his undertaking. 
" If I contribute in my modest degree to 
establishing the true authorship of the work 
you speak of, may I have from you an assur- 
ance that my success isn't to serve as a basis 
for any peril or possibility of its leaving the 
country ? " 

Lord Theign was visibly astonished, but had 
also, independently of this, turned a shade pale. 
" You ask of me an * assurance ' ? " 

Hugh had now, with his firmness and his 
strained smile, quite the look of having counted 
the cost of his step. " I'm afraid I must, you 
see." 

It pressed at once in his host the spring of a 
very grand manner. "And pray by what 
right here do you do anything of the sort ? " 

"By the right of a person from whom you, 
on your side, are accepting a service." 



128 THE OUTCRY 

Hugh had clearly determined in his opponent 
a rise of what is called spirit. " A service that 
you half an hour ago thrust on me, sir and 
with which you may take it from me that I'm 
already quite prepared to dispense." 

"I'm sorry to appear indiscreet," our young 
man returned ; "I'm sorry to have upset you 
in any way. But I can't overcome my 
anxiety " 

Lord Theign took the words from his lips. 
" And you therefore invite me at the end of 
half an hour in this house ! to account to you 
for my personal intentions and my private 
affairs and make over my freedom to your 
hands?" 

Hugh stood there with his eyes on the black 
and white pavement that stretched about him 
the great lozenged marble floor that might have 
figured that ground of his own vision which he 
had made up his mind to " stand." "I can 
only see the matter as I see it, and I should be 
ashamed not to have seized any chance to 
appeal to you." Whatever difficulty he had 
had shyly to face didn't exist for him now. " I 
entreat you to think again, to think well, before 
you -deprive us of such a source of just envy." 



THE OUTCRY 129 

" And you regard your entreaty as helped," 
Lord Theign asked, "by the beautiful threat 
you are so good as to attach to it ? " Then as 
his monitor, arrested, exchanged a searching 
look with Lady Grace, who, showing in her 
face all the pain of the business, stood off at 
the distance to which a woman instinctively 
retreats when a scene turns to violence as 
precipitately as this one appeared to strike her 
as having turned : " I ask you that not less 
than I should like to know whom you speak of 
as ' deprived ' of property that happens for 
reasons that I don't suppose you also quarrel 
with ! to be mine." 

" Well, I know nothing about threats, Lord 
Theign," Hugh said, "but I speak of all of 
us of all the people of England ; who would 
deeply deplore such an act of alienation, and 
whom, for the interest they bear you, I beseech 
you mercifully to consider." 

"The interest they bear me?" the master 
of Dedborough fairly bristled with wonder. 
" Pray how the devil do they show it ? " 

"I think they show it in all sorts of ways" 
and Hugh's critical smile, at almost any 
moment hovering, played over the question in 



130 THE OUTCRY 

a manner seeming to convey that he meant 
many things. 

" Understand then, please," said Lord Theign 
with every inch of his authority, "that they'll 
show it best by minding their own business 
while I very particularly mind mine." 

"You simply do, in other words," Hugh 
explicitly concluded, "what happens to be 
convenient to you." 

" In very distinct preference to what happens 
to be convenient to you ! So that I need no 
longer detain you," Lord Theign added with 
the last dryness and as if to wind up their brief 
and thankless connection. 

The young man took his dismissal, being 
able to do no less, while, unsatisfied and 
unhappy, he looked about mechanically for the 
cycling-cap he had laid down somewhere in the 
hall on his arrival. " I apologise, my lord, 
if I seem to you to have ill repaid your 
hospitality. But," he went on with his un- 
commended cheer, " my interest in your picture 
remains." 

Lady Grace, who had stopped and strayed 
and stopped again as a mere watchful witness, 
drew nearer hereupon, breaking her silence for 



THE OUTCRY 131 

the first time. " And please let me say, father, 
that mine also grows and grows." 

It was obvious that this parent, surprised 
and disconcerted by her tone, judged her con- 
tribution superfluous. ''I'm happy to hear it, 
Grace but yours is another affair." 

" I think on the contrary that it's quite the 
same one," she returned " since it's on my 
hint to him that Mr. Crimble has said to you 
what he has." The resolution she had gathered 
while she awaited her chance sat in her charm- 
ing eyes, which met, as she spoke, the straighter 
paternal glare. "I let him know that I sup- 
posed you to think of profiting by the import- 
ance of Mr. Bender's visit." 

" Then you might have spared, my dear, 
your I suppose and hope well-meant inter- 
pretation of my mind." Lord Theign showed 
himself at this point master of the beautiful art 
of righting himself as without having been in 
the wrong. " Mr. Bender's visit will terminate 
as soon as he has released Lord John 
without my having profited in the smallest 
particular." 

Hugh meanwhile evidently but wanted to 
speak for his friend. "It was Lady Grace's 



132 THE OUTCRY 

anxious inference, she will doubtless let me 
say for her, that my idea about the Moretto 
would add to your power well," he pushed 
on not without awkwardness, " of 'realising' 
advantageously on such a prospective rise." 

Lord Theign glanced at him as positively 
for the last time, but spoke to Lady Grace. 
" Understand then, please, that, as I detach 
myself from any association with this gentle- 
man's ideas whether about the Moretto or 
about anything else his further application of 
them ceases from this moment to concern us." 

The girl's rejoinder was to address herself 
directly to Hugh, across their companion. 
" Will you make your inquiry for me then ?" 

The light again kindled in him. " With all 
the pleasure in life ! " He had found his cap 
and, taking them together, bowed to the two, 
for departure, with high emphasis of form. 
Then he marched off in the direction from 
which he had entered. 

Lord Theign scarce waited for his disappear- 
ance to turn in wrath to Lady Grace. " I 
denounce the indecency, wretched child, of 
your public defiance of me ! " 

They were separated by a wide interval now, 



THE OUTCRY 133 

and though at her distance she met his reproof 
so unshrinkingly as perhaps to justify the terms 
into which it had broken, she became aware of 
a reason for his not following it up. She pro- 
nounced in quick warning " Lord John! " for 
their friend, released from among the pictures, 
was rejoining them, was already there. 

He spoke straight to his host on coming 
into sight. "Bender's at last off, but" he 
indicated the direction of the garden front 
" you may still find him, out yonder, prolong- 
ing the agony with Lady Sandgate." 

Lord Theign remained a moment, and the 
heat of his resentment remained. He looked 
with a divided discretion, the pain of his in- 
decision, from his daughter's suitor and his 
approved candidate to that contumacious young 
woman and back again ; then choosing his 
course in silence he had a gesture of almost 
desperate indifference and passed quickly out 
by the door to the terrace. 

It had left Lord John gaping. " What on 
earth's the matter with your father ? " 

" What on earth indeed ? " Lady Grace un- 
aidingly asked. " Is he discussing with that 
awful man ? " 



134 THE OUTCRY 

" Old Bender ? Do you think him so 
awful ? " Lord John showed surprise which 
might indeed have passed for harmless amuse- 
ment ; but he shook everything off in view 
of a nearer interest. He quite waved old 

Bender away. " My dear girl, what do we 

-\ >j 
care r 

" I care immensely, I assure you," she inter- 
rupted, " and I ask of you, please, to tell me ! " 

Her perversity, coming straight and which 
he had so little expected, threw him back so 
that he looked at her with sombre eyes. " Ah, 
it's not for such a matter I'm here, Lady Grace 
I'm here with that fond question of my 
own." And then as she turned away, leaving 
him with a vehement motion of protest : "I've 
come for your kind answer the answer your 
father instructed me to count on." 

"I've no kind answer to give you!" she 
raised forbidding hands. " I entreat you to 
leave me alone." 

There was so high a spirit and so strong 
a force in it that he stared as if stricken by 
violence. "In God's name then what has 
happened when you almost gave me your 
word?" 



THE OUTCRY 135 

"What has happened is that I've found it 
impossible to listen to you." And she moved 
as if fleeing she scarce knew whither before 
him. 

He had already hastened round another 
way, however, so as to meet her in her quick 
circuit of the hall. "That's all you've got to 
say to me after what has passed between us ? " 

He had stopped her thus, but she had also 
stopped him, and her passionate denial set 
him a limit. "I've got to say sorry as I 
am that if you must have an answer it's 
this : that never, Lord John, never, can there 
be anything more between us." And her 
gesture cleared her path, permitting her to 
achieve her flight. "Never, no, never," she 
repeated as she went "never, never, never!" 
She got off by the door at which she had 
been aiming to some retreat of her own, while 
aghast and defeated, left to make the best of 
it, he sank after a moment into a chair and 
remained quite pitiably staring before him, 
appealing to the great blank splendour. 



BOOK SECOND 



I 

LADY SANDGATE, on a morning late 
in May, entered her drawing-room by 
the door that opened at the right of that 
charming retreat as a person coming in faced 
B niton Street ; and she met there at this 
moment Mr. Gotch, her butler, who had just 
appeared in the much wider doorway forming 
opposite the Bruton Street windows an apart- 
ment not less ample, lighted from the back of 
the house and having its independent connec- 
tion with the upper floors and the lower. She 
showed surprise at not immediately finding the 
visitor to whom she had been called. 

-But Mr. Crimble ?" 

" Here he is, my lady." And he made way 
for that gentleman, who emerged from the 
back room ; Gotch observing the propriety of a 
prompt withdrawal. 

" I went in for a minute, with your servant's 
permission/' Hugh explained, " to see your 

famous Lawrence which is splendid ; he was 

139 



140 THE OUTCRY 

so good as to arrange the light." The young 
man's dress was of a form less relaxed than 
on the occasion of his visit to Dedborough ; 
yet the soft felt hat that he rather restlessly 
crumpled as he talked marked the limit of his 
sacrifice to vain appearances. 

Lady Sandgate was at once interested in the 
punctuality of his reported act. " Gotch thinks 
as much of my ancestress as I do and even 
seems to have ended by taking her for his very 



own." 



" One sees, unmistakably, from her beauty, 
that you at any rate are of her line," Hugh 
allowed himself, not without confidence, the 
amusement of replying; "and I must make 
sure of another look at her when I've a good 
deal more time." 

His hostess heard him as with a lapse of 
hope. " You hadn't then come for the poor 
dear ? " And then as he obviously hadn't, but 
for something quite else : "I thought, from so 
prompt an interest, that she might be coveted ! " 
It dropped with a yearning sigh. 

4 'You imagined me sent by some prowling 
collector?'* Hugh asked. "Ah, I shall never 
do their work unless to betray them : that I 



THE OUTCRY 141 

shouldn't in the least mind! and I'm here, 
frankly, at this early hour, to ask your consent 
to my seeing Lady Grace a moment on a par- 
ticular business, if she can kindly give me time." 

" You've known then of her being with me ? " 

" I've known of her coming to you straight 
on leaving Dedborough," he explained; "of 
her wishing not to go to her sister's, and of 
Lord Theign's having proceeded, as they say, 
or being on the point of proceeding, to some 
foreign part." 

11 And you've learnt it from having seen her 
these three or four weeks ? " 

"I've met her but just barely two or 
three times : at a 'private view,' at the opera, 
in the lobby, and that sort of thing. But she 
hasn't told you ? " 

Lady Sandgate neither affirmed nor denied ; 
she only turned on him her thick lustre. " I 
wanted to see how much youd tell." She 
waited even as for more, but this not coming 
she helped herself. " Once again at dinner ? " 

" Yes, but alas not near her ! " 

" Once then at a private view ? when, with 
the squash they usually are, you might have 
been very near her indeed ! " 



142 THE OUTCRY 

The young man, his hilarity quickened, took 
but a moment for the truth. " Yes it was a 
squash ! " 

"And once," his hostess pursued, " in the 
lobby of the opera ? " 

" After ' Tristan ' yes ; but with some awful 
grand people I didn't know." 

She recognised ; she estimated the grandeur. 
"Oh, the Pennimans are nobody! But now," 
she asked, "you've come, you say, on 'busi- 
ness'?" 

"Very important, please which accounts 
for the hour I've ventured and the appearance 
I present." 

"I don't ask you too much to 'account,'" 
Lady Sandgate kindly said ; " but I can't not 
wonder if she hasn't told you what things have 
happened." 

He cast about. "She has had no chance 
to tell me anything beyond the fact of her 
being here." 

" Without the reason ? " 

" ' The reason ' ? " he echoed. 

She gave it up, going straighter. " She's 
with me then as an old firm friend. Under 
my care and protection." 



THE OUTCRY 143 

" I see " he took it, with more penetration 
than enthusiasm, as a hint in respect to him- 
self. " She puts you on your guard." 

Lady Sandgate expressed it more graciously. 
" She puts me on my honour or at least her 
father does." 

" As to her seeing me ? " 

' ' As to my seeing at least what may happen 
to her." 

" Because you say things have happened ? " 

His companion fairly sounded him. " You've 
only talked when you've met of * art ' ? " 

" Well," he smiled, " ' art is long ' ! " 

"Then I hope it may see you through! 
But you should know first that Lord Theign 
is presently due " 

''Here, back already from abroad?" he 
was all alert. 

"He has not yet gone he comes up this 
morning to start." 

" And stops here on his way ? " 

" To take the train de luxe this afternoon to 
his annual Salsomaggiore. But with so little 
time to spare," she went on reassuringly, 
"that, to simplify as he wired me an hour 
ago from Dedborough he has given rendez- 



144 THE OUTCRY 

vous here to Mr. Bender, who is particularly 
to wait for him." 

"And who may therefore arrive at any 
moment ? " 

She looked at her bracelet watch. " Scarcely 
before noon. So you'll just have your 
chance " 

" Thank the powers then ! " Hugh grasped 
at it. " I shall have it best if you'll be so good 
as to tell me first well," he faltered, "what it 
is that, to my great disquiet, you've further 
alluded to ; what it is that has occurred." 

Lady Sandgate took her time, but her 
good-nature and other sentiments pronounced. 
" Haven't you at least guessed that she has 
fallen under her father's extreme reprobation ? " 

"Yes, so much as that that she must have 
greatly annoyed him I have been supposing. 
But isn't it by her having asked me to act for 
her? I mean about the Mantovano which I 
have done." 

Lady Sandgate wondered. "You've 
< acted'?" 

" It's what I've come to tell her at last and 
I'm all impatience." 

" I see, I see " she had caught a clue. 



THE OUTCRY 145 

" He hated that yes ; but you haven't really 
made out," she put to him, "the other effect 
of your hour at Dedborough? " She re- 
cognised, however, while she spoke, that his 
divination had failed, and she didn't trouble 
him to confess it. " Directly you had gone 
she 4 turned down ' Lord John. Declined, 
I mean, the offer of his hand in marriage." 

Hugh was clearly as much mystified as any- 
thing else. " He proposed there ?" 

" He had spoken, that day, before before 
your~;talk with Lord Theign, who had every 
confidence in her accepting him. But you 
came, Mr. Crimble, you went ; and when her 
suitor reappeared, just after you had gone, for 
his answer " 

"She wouldn't have him?" Hugh asked 
with ajprecipitation of interest. 

But Lady Sandgate could humour almost 
any curiosity. " She wouldn't look at him." 

He bethought himself. " But had she said 
she would?" 

" So her father indignantly considers/ 1 

44 That's the ground of his indignation ? " 

44 He had his reasons for counting on her, 
and it has determined a painful crisis/' 



IO 



i 4 6 THE OUTCRY 

Hugh Crimble turned this over feeling 
apparently for something he didn't find. " I'm 
sorry to hear such things, but where's the con- 
nection with me ? " 

" Ah, you know best yourself, and if you 
don't see any ! " In that case, Lady Sand- 
gate's motion implied, she washed her hands 
of it. 

Hugh had for a moment the air of a young 
man treated to the sweet chance to guess a 
conundrum which he gave up. " I really 
don't see any, Lady Sandgate. But," he a 
little inconsistently said, "I'm greatly obliged 
to you for telling me." 

" Don't mention it ! though I think it is 
good of me," she smiled, "on so short an 
acquaintance." To which she added more 
gravely: "I leave you the situation but I'm 
willing to let you know that I'm all on Grace's 
side." 

"So am I, rather! please let me frankly 
say." 

He clearly refreshed, he even almost charmed 
her. "It's the very least you can say! 
though I'm not sure whether you say it as the 
simplest or as the very subtlest of men. But 



THE OUTCRY 147 

in case you don't know as I do how little the 
particular candidate I've named " 

" Had a right or a claim to succeed with 
her ? " he broke in all quick intelligence here 
at least. " No, I don't perhaps know as well 
as you do but I think I know as well as I 
just yet require." 

" There you are then ! And if you did pre- 
vent," his hostess maturely pursued, "what 
wouldn't have been well, good or nice, I'm 
quite on your side too.'* 

Our young man seemed to feel the shade of 
ambiguity, but he reached at a meaning. 
" You're with me in my plea for our defend- 
ing at any cost of effort or ingenuity " 

" The precious picture Lord Theign ex- 
poses ? " she took his presumed sense faster 
than he had taken hers. But she hung fire a 
moment with her reply to it. "Well, will you 
keep the secret of everything I've said or say ? " 

" To the death, to the stake, Lady Sandgate ! " 

"Then," she momentously returned, " I only 
want, too, to make Bender impossible. If you 
ask me," she pursued, "how I arrange that 
with my deep loyalty to Lord Theign " 

" I don't ask you anything of the sort," he 



148 THE OUTCRY 

interrupted " I wouldn't ask you for the 
world ; and my own bright plan for achieving 
the coup you mention " 

"You'll have time, at the most," she said, 
consulting afresh her bracelet watch, "to ex- 
plain to Lady Grace." She reached an electric 
bell, which she touched facing then her visitor 
again with an abrupt and slightly embarrassed 
change of tone. "You do think my great 
portrait splendid ? " 

He had strayed far from it and all too 
languidly came back. " Your Lawrence there ? 
As I said, magnificent." 

But the butler had come in, interrupting, 
straight from the lobby ; of whom she made 
her request. " Let her ladyship know Mr. 
Crimble." 

Gotch looked hard at Hugh and the crumpled 
hat almost as if having an option. But he 
resigned himself to repeating, with a distinct- 
ness that scarce fell short of the invidious, "Mr. 
Crimble," and departed on his errand. 

Lady Sandgate's fair flush of diplomacy had 
meanwhile not faded. "Couldn't you, with 
your immense cleverness and power, get the 
Government to do something ? " 



THE OUTCRY 149 

" About your picture ? " Hugh betrayed on 
this head a graceless detachment. " You too 
then want to sell ? " 

Oh she righted herself. " Never to a private 
party!" 

"Mr. Bender's not after it?" he asked 
though scarce lighting his reluctant interest 
with a forced smile. 

"Most intensely after it. But never," cried 
the proprietress, " to a bloated alien ! " 

"Then I applaud your patriotism. Only 
why not," he asked, "carrying that magnan- 
imity a little further, set us all an example as 
splendid as the object itself?" 

"Give it you for nothing?" She threw^up 
shocked hands. " Because I'm an aged female 
pauper and can't make every sacrifice." 

Hugh pretended none too convincingly 
to think. "Will you let them have it very 
cheap ? " 

" Yes for less than such a bribe as Bender's." 

"Ah," he said expressively, " that might be, 
and still !" 

Well, she had a flare of fond confidence. 
"I'll find out what he'll offer if you'll on your 
side do what you can and then ask them a 



150 THE OUTCRY 

third less." And she followed it up as if 
suddenly conceiving him a prig. " See here, 
Mr. Crimble, I've been and this very first 
time ! charming to you." 

"You have indeed," he returned ; "but you 
throw back on it a lurid light if it has all been 
for that ! " 

"It has been well, to keep things as I want 
them ; and if I've given you precious informa- 
tion mightn't you on your side " 

"Estimate its value in cash?" Hugh 
sharply took her up. "Ah, Lady Sandgate, 
I am in your debt, but if you really bargain for 
your precious information I'd rather we assume 
that 1 haven't enjoyed it." 

She made him, however, in reply, a sign for 
silence ; she had heard Lady Grace enter the 
other room from the back landing, and, reach- 
ing the nearer door, she disposed of the question 
with high gay bravery. " I won't bargain with 
the Treasury ! " she had passed out by the 
time Lady Grace arrived. 



THE OUTCRY 151 

II 

9 ' 

As Hugh recognised in this friend's entrance 
and face the light of welcome he went, full of 
his subject, straight to their main affair. " I 
haven't been able to wait, I've wanted so much 
to tell you I mean how I've just come back 
from Brussels, where I saw Pappendick, who 
was free and ready, by the happiest chance, to 
start for Verona, which he must have reached 
some time yesterday." 

The girl's responsive interest fairly broke 
into rapture. " Ah, the dear sweet thing ! " 

"Yes, he's a brick but the question now 
hangs in the balance. Allowing him time to 
have got into relation with the picture, I've 
begun to expect his wire, which will probably 
come to my club ; but my fidget, while I wait, 
has driven me" he threw out and dropped 
his arms in expression of his soft surrender 
"well, just to do this : to come to you here, in 
my fever, at an unnatural hour and uninvited, 
and at least let you know I've 'acted.' ' 

"Oh, but I simply rejoice," Lady Grace 
declared, "to be acting with you." 



152 THE OUTCRY 

" Then if you are, if you are'' the young 
man cried, "why everything's beautiful and 
right ! " 

" It's all I care for and think of now," she 
went on in her bright devotion, "and I've only 
wondered and hoped ! " 

Well, Hugh found for it all a rapid, abund- 
ant lucidity. " He was away from home at 
first, and I had to wait but I crossed last 
week, found him and settled it ; coming home 
by Paris, where I had a grand four days' jaw 
with the fellows there and saw their great 
specimen of our master : all of which has given 
him time." 

" And now his time's up ? " the girl eagerly 
asked. 

" It must be and we shall see." But Hugh 
postponed that question to a matter of more 
moment still. "The thing is that at last I'm 
able to tell you how I feel the trouble I've 
brought you." 

It made her, quickly colouring, rest grave 
eyes on him. " What do you know when I 
haven't told you about my ' trouble ' ? " 

" Can't I have guessed, with a ray of intelli- 
gence ?" he had his answer ready. " You've 



THE OUTCRY 153 

sought asylum with this good friend from the 
effects of your father's resentment." 

" ' Sought asylum' is perhaps excessive," 
Lady Grace returned " though it wasn't 
pleasant with him after that hour, no," she 
allowed. "And I couldn't go, you see, to 
Kitty." 

" No indeed, you couldn't go to Kitty." 
He smiled at her hard as he added : " I should 
have liked to see you go to Kitty ! Therefore 
exactly is it that I've set you adrift that I've 
darkened and poisoned your days. You're 
paying with your comfort, with your peace, for 
having joined so gallantly in my grand re- 
monstrance." 

She shook her head, turning from him, but 
then turned back again as if accepting, as if 
even relieved by, this version of the prime 
cause of her state. " Why do you talk of it as 
' paying ' if it's all to come back to my being 
paid ? I mean by your blest success if you 
really do what you want." 

" I have your word for it," he searchingly 
said, " that our really pulling it off together will 
make up to you ? " 

" I should be ashamed if it didn't, for every- 



154 THE OUTCRY 

thing ! " she took the question from his mouth. 
" I believe in such a cause exactly as you do 
and found a lesson, at Dedborough, in your 
frankness and your faith." 

" Then you'll help me no end," he said all 
simply and sincerely. 

" You've helped me already " that she gave 
him straight back. And on it they stayed a 
moment, their strenuous faces more intensely 
communing. 

" You're very wonderful for a girl ! " Hugh 
brought out. 

" One has to be a girl, naturally, to be a 
daughter of one's house," she laughed; "and 
that's all I am of ours but a true and a right 
and a straight one." 

He glowed with his admiration. " You're 
splendid ! " 

That might be or not, her light shrug in- 
timated ; she gave it, at any rate, the go-by 
and more exactly stated her case. " I see our 
situation." 

"So do I, Lady Grace!" he cried with the 
strongest emphasis. "And your father only 
doesn't." 

"Yes," she said for intelligent correction 



THE OUTCRY 155 

" he sees it, there's nothing in life he sees so 
much. But unfortunately he sees it all wrong." 

Hugh seized her point of view as if there 
had been nothing of her that he wouldn't have 
seized. " He sees it all wrong then ! My 
appeal the other day he took as a rude protest. 
And any protest " 

" Any protest," she quickly and fully agreed, 
"he takes as an offence, yes. It's his theory 
that he still has rights," she smiled, " though 
he is a miserable peer." 

" How should he not have rights," said 
Hugh, "when he has really everything on 
earth ? " 

"Ah, he doesn't even know that he takes 
it so much for granted." And she sought, 
though as rather sadly and despairingly, to 
explain. " He lives all in his own world." 

"He lives all in his own, yes ; but he does 
business all in ours quite as much as the 
people who come up to the city in the Tube." 
With which Hugh had a still sharper recall of 
the stiff actual. "And he must be here to do 
business to-day." 

"You know," Lady Grace asked, "that he's 
to meet Mr. Bender?" 



156 THE OUTCRY 

" Lady Sandgate kindly warned me, and,'* 
her companion saw as he glanced at the clock 
on the chimney, " I've only ten minutes at 
best. The * Journal ' won't have been good 
for him," he added " you doubtless have seen 
the 'Journal'?" 

"No" she was vague. "We live by the 
' Morning Post.' " 

"That's why our friend here didn't speak 
then," Hugh said with a better light "which, 
out of a dim consideration for her, I didn't 
do either. But they've a leader this morning 
about Lady Lappington and her Longhi, and 
on Bender and his hauls, and on the certainty 
if we don't do something energetic of more 
and more Benders to come : such a conquering 
horde as invaded the old civilisation, only 
armed now with huge cheque-books instead of 
with spears and battle-axes. They refer to the 
rumour current as too horrific to believe of 
Lord Theign's putting up his Moretto ; with 
the question of how properly to qualify any 
such sad purpose in him should the further 
report prove true of a new and momentous 
opinion about the picture entertained by several 
eminent authorities." 



THE OUTCRY 157 

" Of whom," said the girl, intensely attached 
to this recital, "you're of course seen as not 
the least." 

"Of whom, of course, Lady Grace, I'm as 
yet however I'm ' seen ' the whole collection. 
But we've time " he rested on that. "The 
fat, if you'll allow me the expression, is on the 
fire which, as I see the matter, is where this 
particular fat should\)t" 

" Is the article, then," his companion 
appealed, "very severe?" 

" I prefer to call it very enlightened and 
very intelligent and the great thing is that 
it immensely * marks,' as they say. It will 
have made a big public difference from this 
day ; though it's of course aimed not so much 
at persons as at conditions ; which it calls upon 
us all somehow to tackle." 

" Exactly " she was full of the saving 
vision ; " but as the conditions are directly 
embodied in persons " 

"Oh, of course it here and there bells the 
cat ; which means that it bells three or four." 

" Yes," she richly brooded " Lady Lapping- 
ton is a cat ! " 

"She will have been 'belled, 'at any rate, 



158 THE OUTCRY 

with your father," Hugh amusedly went on, 
" to the certainty of a row ; and a row can only 
be good for us I mean for us in particular.'* 
Yet he had to bethink himself. " The case 
depends a good deal of course on how your 
father takes such a resounding rap." 

"Oh, I know how he'll take it!" her per- 
ception went all the way. 

" In the very highest and properest spirit ? " 

" Well, you'll see." She was as brave as she 
was clear. " Or at least / shall ! " 

Struck with all this in her he renewed his 
homage. " You are, yes, splendid ! " 

" I even," she laughed, "surprise myself." 

But he was already back at his calculations, 
" How early do the papers get to you ? " 

"At Dedborough ? Oh, quite for breakfast 
which isn't, however, very early." 

"Then that's what has caused his wire to 
Bender." 

"But how will such talk strike him?" the 
girl asked. 

Hugh meanwhile, visibly, had not only 
followed his train of thought, he had let it lead 
him to certainty. "It will have moved Mr. 
Bender to absolute rapture." 



THE OUTCRY 159 

" Rather," Lady Grace wondered, " than have 
put him off?" 

"It will have put him prodigiously on ! Mr. 
Bender as he said to me at Dedborough of 
his noble host there," Hugh pursued "is 'a 
very nice man ' ; but he's a product of the world 
of advertisement, and advertisement is all he 
sees and aims at. He lives in it as a saint in 
glory or a fish in water." 

She took it from him as half doubting. " But 
mayn't advertisement, in so special a case, turn, 
on the whole, against him ? " 

Hugh shook a negative forefinger with an 
expression he might have caught from foreign 
comrades. "He rides the biggest whirlwind 
he has got it saddled and bitted." 

She faced the image, but cast about. " Then 
where does our success come in ? " 

"In our making the beast, all the same, bolt 
with him and throw him." And Hugh further 
pointed the moral. " If in such proceedings all 
he knows is publicity the thing is to give him 
publicity, and it's only a question of giving him 
enough. By the time he has enough for himself, 
you see, he'll have too much for every one else 
so that we shall ' up ' in a body and slay him." 



160 THE OUTCRY 

The girl's eyebrows, in her wondering face, 
rose to a question. " But if he has meanwhile 
got the picture ? " 

"We'll slay him before he gets it!" He 
revelled in the breadth of his view. " Our own 
policy must be to organise to that end the 
inevitable outcry. Organise Bender himself 
organise him to scandal." Hugh had already 
even pity to spare for their victim. "He won't 
know it from a boom." 

Though carried along, however, Lady Grace 
could still measure. " But that will be only if 
he wants and decides for the picture." 

" We must make him then want and decide 
for it decide, that is, for 'ours.' To save it 
we must work him up he'll in that case want 
it so indecently much. Then we shall have 
to want it more!" 

"Well," she anxiously felt it her duty to 
remind him, "you can take a horse to 
water ! " 

" Oh, trust me to make him drink ! " 

There appeared a note in this that convinced 
her, "It's you, Mr. Crimble, who are 
'splendid'!" 

"Well, I shall be with my jolly wire!" 



THE OUTCRY 161 

And all on that scent again, " May I come 
back to you from the club with Pappendick's 
news ? " he asked. 

" Why, rather, of course, come back ! " 
"Only not," he debated, "till your father 
has left.' 1 

Lady Grace considered too, but sharply 
decided. " Come when you have it. But tell 
me first," she added, "one thing." She hung 
fire a little while he waited, but she brought it 
out. "Was it you who got the 'Journal' to 
speak?" 

" Ah, one scarcely ' gets ' the ' Journal ' ! " 
" Who then gave them their ' tip ' ? " 
"About the Mantovano and its peril?" 
Well, he took a moment but only not to say ; 
in addition to which the butler had reappeared, 
entering from the lobby. " I'll tell you," he 
laughed, "when I come back!" 

Gotch had his manner of announcement 
while the visitor was mounting the stairs. 
" Mr. Breckenridge Bender ! " 

" Ah then I go," said Lady Grace at once. 
" I'll stay three minutes." Hugh turned 
with her, alertly, to the easier issue, signalling 
hope and cheer from that threshold as he 



162 THE OUTCRY 

watched her disappear ; after which he faced 
about with as brave a smile and as ready for 
immediate action as if she had there within 
kissed her hand to him. Mr. Bender emerged 
at the same instant, Gotch withdrawing and 
closing the door behind him ; and the former 
personage, recognising his young friend, threw 
up his hands for friendly pleasure. 



Ill 



"An, Mr. Crimble," he cordially inquired, 
" you've come with your great news ? " 

Hugh caught the allusion, it would have 
seemed, but after a moment. " News of the 
Moretto ? No, Mr. Bender, I haven't 'news 
yet." But he added as with high candour for 
the visitor's motion of disappointment : " I 
think I warned you, you know, that it would 
take three or four weeks." 

"Well, in my country," Mr. Bender returned 
with disgust, " it would take three or four 
minutes ! Can't you make 'em step more 
lively?" 



THE OUTCRY 163 

" I'm expecting, sir," said Hugh good- 
humouredly, "a report from hour to hour." 

" Then will you let me have it right off? " 

Hugh indulged in a pause ; after which very 
frankly : " Ah, it's scarcely for you, Mr. Bender 
that I'm acting! " 

The great collector was but briefly checked. 
" Well, can't you just act for Art ? " 

"Oh, you're doing that yourself so power- 
fully," Hugh laughed, "that I think I had best 
leave it to you ! " 

His friend looked at him as some inspector 
on circuit might look at a new improvement 
" Don't you want to go round acting with 
me?" 

"Go 'on tour,' as it were? Oh, frankly, 
Mr. Bender," Hugh said, " if I had any 
weight ! " 

"You'd add it to your end of the beam? 
Why, what have I done that you should go 
back on me after working me up so down 
there? The worst I've done," Mr. Bender 
continued, "is to refuse that Moretto." 

" Has it deplorably been offered you?" our 
young man cried, unmistakably and sincerely 
affected. After which he went on, as his 



1 64 THE OUTCRY 

fellow-visitor only eyed him hard, not, on 
second thoughts, giving the owner of the great 
work away: "Then why are you as if you 
were a banished Romeo so keen for news 
from Verona ? " To this odd mixture of busi- 
ness and literature Mr. Bender made no reply, 
contenting himself with but a large vague 
blandness that wore in him somehow the mark 
of tested utility ; so that Hugh put him another 
question : " Aren't you here, sir, on the chance 
of the Mantovano ? " 

" I'm here," he then imperturbably said, 
4 'because Lord Theign has wired me to meet 
him. Ain't you here for that yourself?" 

Hugh betrayed for a moment his enjoyment 
of a "big" choice of answers. "Dear, no! 
I've but been in, by Lady Sandgate's leave, to 
see that grand Lawrence." 

" Ah yes, she's very kind about it one does 
go ' in.' " After which Mr. Bender had, even 
in the atmosphere of his danger, a throb of 
curiosity. "Is any one after that grand 
Lawrence ? " 

"Oh, I hope not," Hugh laughed, "unless 
you again dreadfully are : wonderful thing as 
it is and so just in its right place there." 



THE OUTCRY 165 

" You call it," Mr. Bender impartially in- 
quired, "a very wonderful thing ?" 

" Well, as a Lawrence, it has quite bowled 
me over " Hugh spoke as for the strictly 
aesthetic awkwardness of that. " But you 
know I take my pictures hard." He gave a 
punch to his hat, pressed for time in this con- 
nection as he was glad truly to appear to his 
friend. " I must make my little rapport." 
Yet before it he did seek briefly to explain. 
"We're a band of young men who care and 
we watch the great things. Also for I must 
give you the real truth about myself we watch 
the great people." 

"Well, I guess I'm used to being watched 
if that's the worst you can do." To which Mr. 
Bender added in his homely way : " But you 
know, Mr. Crimble, what I'm really after." 

Hugh's strategy on this would again have 
peeped out for us. " The man in this morning's 
' Journal ' appears at least to have discovered." 

"Yes, the man in this morning's 'Journal' 
has discovered three or four weeks as it 
appears to take you here for everything after 
my beginning to talk. Why, they knew I was 
talking that time ago on the other side." 



1 66 THE OUTCRY 

"Oh, they know things in the States," 
Hugh cheerfully agreed, "so independently of 
their happening! But you must have talked 
loud." 

"Well, I haven't so much talked as raved," 
Mr. Bender conceded "for I'm afraid that 
when I do want a thing I rave till I get it. 
You heard me at Dedborough, and your enter- 
prising daily press has at last caught the echo." 

"Then they'll make up for lost time! But 
have you done it," Hugh asked, "to prepare 
an alibi?" 

"An alibi ?" 

" By 'raving,' as you say, the saddle on the 
wrong horse. I don't think you at all believe 
you'll get the Sir Joshua but meanwhile we 
shall have cleared up the question of the 
Moretto." 

Mr. Bender, imperturbable, didn't speak till 
he had done justice to this picture of his 
subtlety. " Then, why on earth do you want 
to boom the Moretto ? " 

"You ask that," said Hugh, "because it's 
the boomed thing that's most in peril ? " 

"Well, it's the big, the bigger, the biggest 
things, and if you drag their value to the light 



THE OUTCRY 167 

why shouldn't we want to grab them and carry 
them off the same as all of you originally did ? " 

" Ah, not quite the same," Hugh smiled 
" that I will say for you ! " 

" Yes, you stick it on now you have got an 
eye for the rise in values. But I grant you 
your unearned increment, and you ought to be 
mighty glad that, to such a tune, I'll pay it 
you." 

Our young man kept, during a moment's 
thought, his eyes on his companion, and then 
resumed with all intensity and candour : 
"You may easily, Mr. Bender, be too much 
for me as you appear too much for far greater 
people. But may I ask you, very earnestly, 
for your word on this, as to any case in which 
that happens that when precious things, things 
we are to lose here, are knocked down to you, 
you'll let us at least take leave of them, let us 
have a sight of them in London, before they're 
borne off? " 

Mr. Bender's big face fell almost with a crash. 
" Hand them over, you mean, to the sandwich- 
men on Bond Street ? " 

" To one or other of the placard and poster 
men I don't insist on the inserted human 



1 68 THE OUTCRY 

slice ! Let the great values, as a compensation 
to us, be on view for three or four weeks." 

" You ask me," Mr. Bender returned, "for a 
general assurance to that effect ? " 

" Well, a particular one so it be particular 
enough," Hugh said "will do just for now. 
Let me put in my plea for the issue well, of 
the value that's actually in the scales." 

" The Mantovano-Moretto ? " 

" The Moretto-Mantovano ! " 

Mr. Bender carnivorously smiled. " Hadn't 
we better know which it is first ? " 

Hugh had a motion of practical indifference 
for this. "The public interest playing so 
straight on the question may help to settle it. 
By which I mean that it will profit enormously 
the question of probability, of identity itself 
will by the discussion it will create. The 
discussion will promote certainty " 

"And certainty," Mr. Bender massively 
mused, "will kick up a row." 

" Of course it will kick up a row! " Hugh 
thoroughly guaranteed that. " You'll be, for 
the month, the best-abused man in England 
if you venture to remain here at all ; except, 
naturally, poor Lord Theign." 



THE OUTCRY 169 

" Whom it won't be my interest, at the same 
time, to worry into backing down." 

" But whom it will be exceedingly mine to 
practise on " and Hugh laughed as at the fun 
before them "if I may entertain the sweet 
hope of success. The only thing is from my 
point of view," he went on "that backing 
down before what he will call vulgar clamour 
isn't in the least in his traditions, nothing less 
so ; and that if there should be really too much 
of it for his taste or his nerves he'll set his 
handsome face as a stone and never budge an 
inch. But at least again what I appeal to you 
for will have taken place the picture will have 
been seen by a lot of people who'll care." 

" It will have been seen," Mr. Bender 
amended "on the mere contingency of my 
acquisition of it only if its present owner 
consents." 

" * Consents ' ? " Hugh almost derisively 
echoed; "why, he'll propose it himself, he'll 
insist on it, he'll put it through, once he's angry 
enough as angry, I mean, as almost any 
public criticism of a personal act of his will 
be sure to make him ; and I'm afraid the strik- 
ing criticism, or at least animadversion, of this 



1 70 THE OUTCRY 

morning, will have blown on his flame of 
bravado." 

Inevitably a student of character, Mr. Bender 
rose to the occasion. " Yes, I guess he's 
pretty mad." 

" They've imputed to him" Hugh but 
wanted to abound in that sense " an intention 
of which after all he isn't guilty." 

" So that " his listener glowed with inter- 
ested optimism " if they don't look out, if 
they impute it to him again, I guess he'll just 
go and be guilty ! " 

Hugh might at this moment have shown to 
an initiated eye as fairly elated by the sense 
of producing something of the effect he had 
hoped. "You entertain the fond vision of 
lashing them up to that mistake, oh fisher in 
troubled waters ? " And then with a finer art, 
as his companion, expansively bright but 
crudely acute, eyed him in turn as if to sound 
him: "The strongest thing in such a type 
one does make out is his resentment of a 
liberty taken ; and the most natural furthermore 
is quite that he should feel almost anything 
you do take uninvited from the groaning board 
of his banquet of life to be such a liberty." 



THE OUTCRY 171 

Mr. Bender participated thus at his percep- 
tive ease in the exposed aristocratic illusion. 
" Yes, I guess he has always lived as he likes, 
the way those of you who have got things fixed 
for them do, over here ; and to have to quit it 
on account of unpleasant remark " But he 
gave up thoughtfully trying to express what 
this must be ; reduced to the mere synthetic 
interjection " My ! " 

" That's it, Mr. Bender," Hugh said for the 
consecration of such a moral ; " he won't quit it 
without a hard struggle." 

Mr. Bender hereupon at last gave himself 
quite gaily away as to his high calculation of 
impunity. " Well, I guess he won't struggle 
too hard for me to hold on to him if I want 
to ! " 

" In the thick of the conflict then, however 
that may be," Hugh returned, "don't forget 
what I've urged on you the claim of our 
desolate country." ,,-,: 

But his friend had an answer to this. " My 
natural interest, Mr. Crimble considering 
what I do for it is in the claim of ours. But 
I wish you were on my side ! " 

" Not so much," Hugh hungrily and truth- 



172 THE OUTCRY 

fully laughed, "as I wish you were on mine!" 
Decidedly none the less, he had to go. 
" Good-bye for another look here!" 

He reached the doorway of the second room, 
where, however, his companion, freshly alert at 
this, stayed him by a gesture. "How much is 
she really worth ? " 

" ' She ' ? " Hugh, staring a moment, was 
miles at sea. "Lady Sandgate?" 

" Her great-grandmother." 

A responsible answer was prevented the 
butler was again with them ; he had opened 
wide the other door and he named to Mr. 
Bender the personage under his convoy. 
"Lord John!" 

Hugh caught this from the inner threshold, 
and it gave him his escape. " Oh, ask that 
friend ! " With which he sought the further 
passage to the staircase and street, while Lord 
John arrived in charge of Mr. Gotch, who, 
having remarked to the two occupants of the 
front drawing-room that her ladyship would 
come, left them together. 



THE OUTCRY 173 

IV 

" THEN Theign's not yet here ! " Lord John 
had to resign himself as he greeted his Ameri- 
can ally. " But he told me I should find you." 

" He has kept me waiting," that gentleman 
returned "but what's the matter with him 
anyway ? " 

" The matter with him " Lord John treated 
such ignorance as irritating "must of course 
be this beastly thing in the ' Journal.' ' 

Mr. Bender proclaimed, on the other hand, 
his incapacity to seize such connections. 
" What's the matter with the beastly thing ? " 

"Why, aren't you aware that the stiffest bit 
of it is a regular dig at you ? " 

" If you call that a regular dig you can't have 
had much experience of the Papers. I've 
known them to dig much deeper." 

"I've had no experience of such horrid 
attacks, thank goodness ; but do you mean to 
say," asked Lord John with the surprise of his 
own delicacy, "that you don't unpleasantly feel 
it?" 

" Feel it where, my dear sir ? " 



174 THE OUTCRY 

" Why, God bless me, such impertinence, 
everywhere ! " 

" All over me at once ? " Mr. Bender took 
refuge in easy humour. "Well, I'm a large 
man so when I want to feel so much I look 
out for something good. But what, if he 
suffers from the blot on his ermine ain't that 
what you wear ? does our friend propose to 
do about it ? " 

Lord John had a demur, which was immedi- 
ately followed by the apprehension of support 
in his uncertainty. Lady Sandgate was before 
them, having reached them through the other 
room, and to her he at once referred the 
question. " What ^7/Theign propose, do you 
think, Lady Sandgate, to do about it ? " 

She breathed both her hospitality and her 
vagueness. " To * do ' ? " 

"Don't you know about the thing in the 
' Journal ' awfully offensive all round ? " 

" There'd be even a little pinch for you in it," 
Mr. Bender said to her " if you were bent on 
fitting the shoe ! " 

Well, she met it all as gaily as was compat- 
ible with a firm look at her elder guest while 
she took her place with them. " Oh, the shoes 






THE OUTCRY 175 

of such monsters as that are much too big for 
poor me ! " But she was more specific for Lord 
John. " I know only what Grace has just told 
me ; but since it's a question of footgear dear 
Theign will certainly what you may call 
take his stand ! " 

Lord John welcomed this assurance. "If I 
know him he'll take it splendidly ! " 

Mr. Bender's attention was genial, though 
rather more detached. "And what while 
he's about it will he take it particularly on ? " 

"Oh, we've plenty of things, thank heaven," 
said Lady Sandgate, "for a man in Theign's 
position to hold fast by ! " 

Lord John freely confirmed it. " Scores and 
scores rather ! And I will say for us that, 
with the rotten way things seem going, the fact 
may soon become a real convenience." 

Mr. Bender seemed struck and not unsym- 
pathetic. "I see that your system would be 
rather a fraud if you hadn't pretty well fixed 
that / " 

Lady Sandgate spoke as one at present none 
the less substantially warned and convinced. 
"It doesn't, however, alter the fact that we've 
thus in our ears the first growl of an outcry." 



1 76 THE OUTCRY 

" Ah," Lord John concurred, ''we've unmis- 
takably the first growl of an outcry ! " 

Mr. Bender's judgment on the matter paused 
at sight of Lord Theign, introduced and an- 
nounced, as Lord John spoke, by Gotch ; but 
with the result of his addressing directly the 
person so presenting himself. " Why, they 
tell me that what this means, Lord Theign, is 
the first growl of an outcry ! " 

The appearance of the most eminent figure 
in the group might have been held in itself to 
testify to some such truth ; in the sense at least 
that a certain conscious radiance, a gathered 
light of battle in his lordship's aspect would 
have been explained by his having taken the 
full measure an inner success with which he 
glowed of some high provocation. He was 
flushed, but he bore it as the ensign of his 
house ; he was so admirably, vividly dressed, 
for the morning hour and for his journey, that 
he shone as with the armour of a knight ; and 
the whole effect of him, from head to foot, with 
every jerk of his unconcern and every flash of 
his ease, was to call attention to his being 
utterly unshaken and knowing perfectly what 
he was about. It was at this happy pitch 



THE OUTCRY 177 

that he replied to the prime upsetter of his 
peace. 

"I'm afraid I don't know what anything 
means to you, Mr. Bender but it's exactly to 
find out that I've asked you, with our friend 
John, kindly to meet me here. For a very 
brief conference, dear lady, by your good 
leave," he went on to Lady Sandgate ; "at 
which I'm only too pleased that you yourself 
should assist. The ' first growl ' of any outcry, 
I may mention to you all, affects me no more 
than the last will ! " 

" So I'm delighted to gather" Lady Sand- 
gate took him straight up " that you don't let 
go your inestimable Cure." 

He at first quite stared superior " ' Let 
go ' ? " but then treated it with a lighter 
touch. " Upon my honour I might, you know 
that dose of the daily press has made me 
feel so fit! I arrive at any rate," he pursued 
to the others and in particular to Mr. Bender, 
" I arrive with my decision taken which I've 
thought may perhaps interest you. If that 
tuppeny rot is an attempt at an outcry I simply 
nip it in the bud." 

Lord John rejoicingly approved. "Abso- 



12 



i;8 THE OUTCRY 

lutely the only way with the least self-respect 
to treat it ! " 

Lady Sandgate, on the other hand, sounded 
a sceptical note. " But are you sure it's so 
easy, Theign, to hush up a real noise ? " 

"It ain't what I'd call a real one, Lady 
Sandgate," Mr. Bender said ; " you can 
generally distinguish a real one from the 
squeak of two or three mice ! But granted 
mice do affect you, Lord Theign, it will 
interest me to hear what sort of a trap by 
what you say you propose to set for them." 

" You must allow me to measure, myself, 
Mr. Bender," his lordship replied, "the import- 
ance of a gross freedom publicly used with my 
absolutely personal proceedings and affairs ; 
to the cause and origin of any definite report 
of which in such circles! I'm afraid I 
rather wonder if you yourself can't give me a 
clue." 

It took Mr. Bender a minute to do justice to 
these stately remarks. "You rather wonder 
if I've talked of how I feel about your detaining 
in your hands my Beautiful Duchess ? " 

" Oh, if you've already published her as 
* yours ' with your power of publication ! " 



THE OUTCRY 179 

Lord Theign coldly laughed, "of course I 
trace the connection ! " 

Mr. Bender's acceptance of responsibility 
clearly cost him no shade of a pang. " Why, 
I haven't for quite a while talked of a blessed 
other thing and I'm capable of growing more 
profane over my not getting her than I guess 
any one would dare to be if I did." 

"Well, you'll certainly not 'get' her, Mr. 
Bender," Lady Sandgate, as for reasons of her 
own, bravely trumpeted; "and even if there 
were a chance of it don't you see that your 
way wouldn't be publicly to abuse our noble 
friend?" 

Mr. Bender but beamed, in reply, upon that 
personage. " Oh, I guess our noble friend 
knows I have to talk big about big things. 
You understand, sir, the scream of the eagle ! 

"I'll forgive you," Lord Theign civilly 
returned, "all the big talk you like if you'll 
now understand me. My retort to that hireling 
pack shall be at once to dispose of a picture." 

Mr. Bender rather failed to follow. " But 
that's what you wanted to do before." 

" Pardon me," said his lordship " I make 
a difference. It's what you wanted me to do." 



i8o THE OUTCRY 

The mystification, however, continued. " And 
you were not as you seemed then willing ? " 

Lord Theign waived cross-questions. "Well, 
I'm willing now that's all that need concern us. 
Only, once more and for the last time," he added 
with all authority, "you can't have our Duchess!" 

" You can't have our Duchess ! " and Lord 
John, as before the altar of patriotism, wrapped 
it in sacrificial sighs. 

" You can't have our Duchess ! " Lady 
Sandgate repeated, but with a grace that took 
the sting from her triumph. And she seemed 
still all sweet sociability as she added : " I wish 
he'd tell you too, you dreadful rich thing, that 
you can't have anything at all ! " 

Lord Theign, however, in the interest of 
harmony, deprecated that rigour. " Ah, what 
then would become of my happy retort ? " 

" And what as it is" Mr. Bender asked 
" becomes of my unhappy grievance ? " 

" Wouldn't a really great capture make up to 
you for that ? " 

" Well, I take more interest in what I want 
than in what I have and it depends, don't 
you see, on how you measure the size." 

Lord John had at once in this connection a 



THE OUTCRY 181 

bright idea. "Shouldn't you like to go back 
there and take the measure yourself?" 

Mr. Bender considered him as through 
narrowed eyelids. " Look again at that 
tottering Moretto?" 

" Well, its size as you say isn't in any 
light a negligible quantity." 

" You mean that big as it is it hasn't yet 
stopped growing ? " 

The question, however, as he immediately 
showed, resided in what Lord Theign himself 
meant. "It's more to the purpose," he said to 
Mr. Bender, " that I should mention to you 
the leading feature, or in other words the very 
essence, of my plan of campaign which is to 
put the picture at once on view." He marked 
his idea with a broad but elegant gesture. 
" On view as a thing definitely disposed of." 

" I say, I say, I say ! " cried Lord John, 
moved by this bold stroke to high admiration. 

Lady Sandgate's approval was more qualified. 
" But on view, dear Theign, how ? " 

"With one of those pushing people in Bond 
Street." And then as for the crushing climax 
of his policy: "As a Mantovano pure and 
simple." 



182 THE OUTCRY 

''But my dear man," she quavered, " if it 
isnt one ? " 

Mr. Bender at once anticipated ; the wind 
had suddenly risen for him and he let out 
sail. " Lady Sandgate, it's going, by all that's 
well, interesting, to be one ! " 

Lord Theign took him up with pleasure. 
"You seize me? We treat it as one!" 

Lord John eagerly borrowed the emphasis. 
"We treat it as one!" 

Mr. Bender meanwhile fed with an opened 
appetite on the thought he even gave it 
back larger. "As the long-lost Number 
Eight! " 

Lord Theign happily seized him. " That 
will be it to a charm ! " 

"It will make them," Mr. Bender asked, 
"madder than anything?" 

His patron if not his client put it more 
nobly. "It will markedly affirm my attitude." 

"Which will in turn the more markedly 
create discussion." 

"It may create all it will ! " 

"Well, if you don't mind it, / don't!" Mr. 
Bender concluded. But though bathed in this 
high serenity he was all for the rapid applica- 



THE OUTCRY 183 

tion of it elsewhere. " You'll put the thing on 
view right off? " 

" As soon as the proper arrangement " 

" You put off your journey to make it ? " 
Lady Sandgate at once broke m. 

Lord Theign bethought himself with the 
effect of a gracious confidence in the others. 
"Not if these friends will act." 

"Oh, I guess we'll act!" Mr. Bender de- 
clared. 

" Ah, wont we though ! " Lord John re- 
echoed. 

" You understand then I have an interest ? " 
Mr. Bender went on to Lord Theign. 

His lordship's irony met it. "I accept that 
complication which so much simplifies ! " 

" And yet also have a liberty ? " 

"Where else would be those you've taken? 
The point is," said Lord Theign, "that /have 
a show." 

It settled Mr. Bender. "Then I'll fix your 
show." He snatched up his hat. " Lord John, 
come right round ! " 

Lord John had of himself reached the 
door, which he opened to let the whirlwind 
tremendously figured by his friend pass out 



1 84 THE OUTCRY 

first. Taking leave of the others he gave it 
even his applause. " The fellow can do any- 
thing anywhere ! " And he hastily followed. 



V 



LADY SANDGATE, left alone with Lord 
Theign, drew the line at their companion's 
enthusiasm. " That may be true of Mr. 
Bender for it's dreadful how he bears one 
down. But I simply find him a terror." 

"Well," said her friend, who seemed 
disposed not to fatigue the question, " I dare 
say a terror will help me." He had other 
business to which he at once gave himself. 
" And now, if you please, for that girl." 

"I'll send her to you," she replied, "if you 
can't stay to luncheon." 

"I've three or four things to do," he 
pleaded, "and I lunch with Kitty at one." 

She submitted in that case but dis- 
appointedly. "With Berkeley Square then 
you've time. But I confess I don't quite 
grasp the so odd inspiration that you've set 
those men to carry out." 



THE OUTCRY 185 

He showed surprise and regret, but even 
greater decision. " Then it needn't trouble 
you, dear it's enough that I myself go 
straight." 

"Are you so very convinced it's straight?" 
she wouldn't be a bore to him, but she 
couldn't not be a blessing. 

"What in the world else is it," he 
asked, "when, having good reasons, one acts 
on 'em?" 

"You must have an immense array," she 
sighed, " to fly so in the face of Opinion ! " 

" ' Opinion ' ? " he commented " I fly in its 
face? Why, the vulgar thing, as I'm taking 
my quiet walk, flies in mine ! I give it a 
whack with my umbrella and send it about its 
business.'* To which he added with more 
reproach : "It's enough to have been dished 
by Grace without your falling away ! " 

Sadly and sweetly she defended herself. 
"It's only my great affection and all that 
these years have been for us : they it is that 
make me wish you weren't so proud." 

" I've a perfect sense, my dear, of what these 
years have been for us a very charming 
matter. But ' proud ' is it you find me of the 



1 86 THE OUTCRY 

daughter who does her best to ruin me, or of 
the one who does her best to humiliate ? " 

Lady Sandgate, not undiscernibly, took her 
choice of ignoring the point of this. "Your 
surrenders to Kitty are your own affair but 
are you sure you can really bear to see 
Grace ? " 

" I seem expected indeed to bear much," he 
said with more and more of his parental 
bitterness, "but I don't know that Fm yet in 
a funk before my child. Doesn't she want to 
see me, with any contrition, after the trick 
she has played me?" And then as his 
companion's answer failed : "In spite of which 
trick you suggest that I should leave the 
country with no sign of her explaining ?" 

His hostess raised her head. " She does 
want to see you, I know ; but you must recall 
the sequel to that bad hour at Dedborough 
when it was you who declined to see her." 

" Before she left the house with you, the 
next day, for this ? " he was entirely reminis- 
cent. " What I recall is that even if I had 
condoned that evening her deception of me, 
in my folly, I still loathed, for my friend's sake, 
her practical joke on poor John." 



THE OUTCRY 187 

Lady Sandgate indulged in the shrug 
conciliatory. " It was your very complaint 
that your own appeal to her became an appeal 
from herself." 

"Yes," he returned, so well he remembered, 
''she was about as civil to me then picking 
a quarrel with me on such a trumped-up 
ground ! as that devil of a fellow in the 
newspapers ; the taste of whose elegant remarks, 
for that matter, she must now altogether 
enjoy ! " 

His good friend showily balanced and might 
have been about to reply with weight ; but 
what she in fact brought out was only : " I see 
you're right about it : I must let her speak for 
herself." 

" That I shall greatly prefer to her speaking 
as she did so extraordinarily, out of the blue, 
at Dedborough, upon my honour for the 
wonderful friends she picks up : the picture-man 
introduced by her (what was his name ?) who 
regularly ' cheeked ' me, as I suppose he'd call 
it, in my own house, and whom I hope, by the 
way, that under this roof she's not able to be 
quite so thick with ! " 

If Lady Sandgate winced at that vain dream 



i88 THE OUTCRY 

she managed not to betray it, and she had, in 
any embarrassment on this matter, the support, 
as we know, of her own tried policy. " She 
leads her life under this roof very much as 
under yours ; and she's not of an age, remem- 
ber, for me to pretend either to watch her 
movements or to control her contacts." Leav- 
ing him however thus to perform his pleasure 
the charming woman had before she went an 
abrupt change of tone. "Whatever your 
relations with others, dear friend, don't forget 
that I'm still here." 

Lord Theign accepted the reminder, though, 
the circumstances being such, it scarce moved 
him to ecstasy. " That you're here, thank 
heaven, is of course a comfort or would be if 
you understood." 

"Ah," she submissively sighed, "if I don't 
always * understand ' a spirit so much higher 
than mine and a situation so much more com- 
plicated certainly, I at least always defer, I at 
least always well, what can I say but wor- 
ship ? " And then as he remained not other 
than finely passive, "The old altar, Theign," 
she went on "and a spark of the old fire ! " 

He had not looked at her on this it was as 






THE OUTCRY 189 

if he shrank, with his preoccupations, from a 
tender passage ; but he let her take his left 
hand. " So I feel ! " he was, however, kind 
enough to answer. 

" Do feel ! " she returned with much con- 
centration. She raised the hand to her 
pressed lips, dropped it and with a rich 
''Good-bye!" reached the threshold of the 
other room. 

" May I smoke ? " he asked before she had 
disappeared. 

" Dear, yes ! " 

He had meanwhile taken out his cigarette 
case and was looking about for a match. But 
something else occurred to him. " You must 
come to Victoria." 

" Rather ! " she said with intensity ; and 
with that she passed away. 



VI 



LEFT alone he had a moment's meditation 
where he stood ; it found issue in an articulate 
" Poor dear thing ! " an exclamation marked 



1 90 THE OUTCRY 

at once with patience and impatience, with 
resignation and ridicule. After which, wait- 
ing for his daughter, Lord Theign slowly and 
absently roamed, finding matches at last and 
lighting his cigarette all with an air of con- 
cern that had settled on him more heavily from 
the moment of his finding himself alone. His 
luxury of gloom if gloom it was dropped, 
however, on his taking heed of Lady Grace, 
who, arriving on the scene through the other 
room, had had just time to stand and watch 
him in silence. 

" Oh ! " he jerked out at sight of her which 
she had to content herself with as a parental 
greeting after separation, his next words doing 
little to qualify its dryness. " I take it for 
granted that you know I'm within a couple of 
hours of leaving England under a necessity of 
health." And then as, drawing nearer, she 
signified without speaking her possession of 
this fact : " I've thought accordingly that 
before I go I should on this first possible 
occasion since that odious occurrence at 
Dedborough like to leave you a little more 
food for meditation, in my absence, on the 
painfully false position in which you there 



THE OUTCRY 191 

placed me." He carried himself restlessly 
even perhaps with a shade of awkwardness, 
to which her stillness was a contrast ; she just 
waited, wholly passive possibly indeed a trifle 
portentous. " If you had plotted and planned 
it in advance," he none the less firmly pursued, 
"if you had acted from some uncanny or 
malignant motive, you couldn't have arranged 
more perfectly to incommode, to disconcert 
and, to all intents and purposes, make light of 
me and insult me." Even before this charge 
she made no sign ; with her eyes now attached 
to the ground she let him proceed. " I had 
practically guaranteed to our excellent, our 
charming friend, your favourable view of his 
appeal which you yourself too, remember, 
had left him in so little doubt of! so that, 
having by your performance so egregiously 
failed him, I have the pleasure of their coming 
down on me for explanations, for compensa- 
tions, and for God knows what besides." 

Lady Grace, looking up at last, left him 
in no doubt of the rigour of her attention. 
"I'm sorry indeed, father, to have done you 
any wrong ; but may I ask whom, in such a 
connection, you refer to as ' they ' ? " 



192 THE OUTCRY 

"'They'?" he echoed in the manner of a 
man who has had handed back to his more 
careful eye, across the counter, some question- 
able coin that he has tried to pass. "Why, 
your own sister to begin with whose interest 
in what may make for your happiness I suppose 
you decently recognise ; and his people, one 
and all, the delightful old Duchess in particular, 
who only wanted to be charming to you, and 
who are as good people, and as pleasant and as 
clever, damn it, when all's said and done, as 
any others that are likely to come your way." 
It clearly did his lordship good to work out 
thus his case, which grew more and more 
coherent to him and glowed with irresistible 
colour. " Letting alone gallant John himself, 
most amiable of men, about whose merits and 
whose claims you appear to have pretended to 
agree with me just that you might, when he 
presumed, poor chap, ardently to urge them, 
deal him with the more cruel effect that calcu- 
lated blow on the mouth ! " 

It was clear that in the girl's great gravity 
embarrassment had no share. " They so come 
down on you I understand then, father, that 
you're obliged to come down on me ? " 



THE OUTCRY 193 

" Assuredly for some better satisfaction 
than your just moping here without a sign ! " 

" But a sign of what, father ?" she asked 
as helpless as a lone islander scanning the 
horizon for a sail. 

" Of your appreciating, of your in some 
degree dutifully considering, the predicament 
into which you've put me ! " 

" Hasn't it occurred to you in the least that 
you've rather put me into one ? " 

He threw back his head as from exasperated 
nerves. " I put you certainly in the predica- 
ment of your receiving by my care a handsome 
settlement in life which all the elements that 
would make for your enjoying it had every 
appearance of successfully commending to 
you." The perfect readiness of which on his 
lips had, like a higher wave, the virtue of lift- 
ing and dropping him to still more tangible 
ground. " And if I understand you aright as 
wishing to know whether I apologise for that 
zeal, why you take a most preposterous view of 
our relation as father and daughter." 

" You understand me no better than I fear I 
understand you," Lady Grace returned, "if 

what you expect of me is really to take back 
13 



i 9 4 THE OUTCRY 

my words to Lord John." And then as he 
didn't answer, while their breach gaped like a 
jostled wound, " Have you seriously come to 
propose and from him again," she added 
"that I shall reconsider my resolute act and 
lend myself to your beautiful arrangement ? " 

It had so the sound of unmixed ridicule that 
he could only, for his dignity, not give way to 
passion. " I've come, above all, for this, I 
may say, Grace : to remind you of whom 
you're addressing when you jibe at me, and to 
make of you assuredly a plain demand ex- 
actly as to whether you judged us to have 
actively incurred your treatment of our un- 
happy friend, to have brought it upon us, he 
and I, by my refusal to discuss with you at 
such a crisis the question of my disposition of a 
particular item of my property. I've only to 
look at you, for that matter," Lord Theign 
continued always with a finer point and a 
higher consistency as his rehearsal of his 
wrongs broadened "to have my inquiry, as 
it seems to me, eloquently answered. You 
flounced away from poor John, you took, as he 
tells me, 'his head off/ just to repay me for 
what you chose to regard as my snub on the 






THE OUTCRY 195 

score of your challenging my entertainment of 
a possible purchaser ; a rebuke launched at me, 
practically, in the presence of a most inferior 
person, a stranger and an intruder, from whom 
you had all the air of taking your cue for 
naming me the great condition on which you'd 
gratify my hope. Am I to understand, in 
other words " and his lordship mounted to a 
climax " that you sent us about our business 
because I failed to gratify your hope : that of 
my knocking under to your sudden monstrous 
pretension to lay down the law for my choice 
of ways and means of raising, to my best 
convenience, a considerable sum of money ? 
You'll be so good as to understand, once for all, 
that I recognise there no right of interference 
from any quarter and also to let that know- 
ledge govern your behaviour in my absence." 

Lady Grace had thus for some minutes 
waited on his words waited even as almost 
with anxiety for the safe conduct he might 
look to from some of the more extravagant 
of them. But he at least felt at the end 
if it was an end all he owed them ; so that 
there was nothing for her but to accept as 
achieved his dreadful felicity. " You're very 



1 96 THE OUTCRY 

angry with me, and I hope you won't feel me 
simply ' aggravating ' if I say that, thinking 
everything over, I've done my best to allow for 
that. But I can answer your question if I do 
answer it by saying that my discovery of your 
possible sacrifice of one of our most beautiful 
things didn't predispose me to decide in favour 
of a person however 'backed' by you for 
whose benefit the sacrifice was to take place. 
Frankly," the girl pushed on, " I did quite 
hate, for the moment, everything that might 
make for such a mistake ; and took the darkest 
view, let me also confess, of every one, without 
exception, connected with it. I interceded 
with you, earnestly, for our precious picture, 
and you wouldn't on any terms have my inter- 
cession. On top of that Lord John blundered 
in, without timeliness or tact and I'm afraid 
that, as I hadn't been the least in love with 
him even before, he did have to take the 
consequence." 

Lord Theign, with an elated swing of his 
person, greeted this as all he could possibly 
want. "You recognise then that your reception 
of him was purely vindictive ! the meaning of 
which is that unless my conduct of my private 



THE OUTCRY 197 

interests, of which you know nothing whatever, 
happens to square with your superior wisdom 
you'll put me under boycott all round ! While 
you chatter about mistakes and blunders, and 
about our charming friend's lack of the 
discretion of which you yourself set so grand 
an example, what account have you to offer 
of the scene you made me there before that 
fellow your confederate, as he had all the air of 
being! by giving it me with such effrontery 
that, if I had eminently done with him after 
his remarkable display, you at least were but 
the more determined to see him keep it up ? " 

The girl's justification, clearly, was very 
present to her, and not less obviously the truth 
that to make it strong she must, avoiding 
every side-issue, keep it very simple. *' The 
only account I can give you, I think, is that 
I could but speak at such a moment as I felt, 
and that I felt well, how can I say how 
deeply? If you can really bear to know, I 
feel so still, I care in fact more than ever that 
we shouldn't do such things. I care, if you 
like, to indiscretion I care, if you like, to 
offence, to arrogance, to folly. But even as 
my last word to you before you leave England 






198 THE OUTCRY 

on the conclusion of such a step, I'm ready to 
cry out to you that you oughtn't, you oughtn't, 
you oughtn't ! " 

Her father, with wonder-moved, elevated 
brows and high commanding hand, checked 
her as in an act really of violence save that, 
like an inflamed young priestess, she had 
already, in essence, delivered her message. 
" Hallo, hallo, hallo, my distracted daughter 
no 'crying out,' if you please!" After 
which, while arrested but unabashed, she still 
kept her lighted eyes on him, he gave back 
her conscious stare for a minute, inwardly 
and rapidly turning things over, making con- 
nections, taking, as after some long and 
lamentable lapse of observation, a new strange 
measure of her : all to the upshot of his then 
speaking with a difference of tone, a recognition 
of still more of the odious than he had 
supposed, so that the case might really call for 
some coolness. "You keep bad company, 
Grace it plays the devil with your sense of 
proportion. If you make this row when I sell 
a picture, what will be left to you when I 
forge a cheque ? " 

" If you had arrived at the necessity of 






THE OUTCRY 199 

forging a cheque," she answered, " I should 
then resign myself to that of your selling a 
picture." 

" But not short of that ! " 

" Not short of that. Not one of ours." 

"But I couldn't," said his lordship with his 
best and coldest amusement, "sell one of some- 
body else's ! " 

She was, however, not disconcerted. " Other 
people do other things they appear to have 
done them, and to be doing them, all about us. 
But we have been so decently different always 
and ever. We've never done anything dis- 
loyal." 

" ' Disloyal ' ? " he was more largely amazed 
and even interested now. 

Lady Grace stuck to her word. " That's 
what it seems to me I " 

"It seems to you" and his sarcasm here 
was easy "more disloyal to sell a picture than 
to buy one ? Because we didn't paint 'em all 
ourselves, you know ! " 

She threw up impatient hands. " I don't 
ask you either to paint or to buy ! " 

" Oh, thafs a mercy ! " he interrupted, riding 
his irony hard; "and I'm glad to hear you at 



200 THE OUTCRY 

least let me off suck efforts! However, if it 
strikes you as gracefully filial to apply to your 
father's conduct so invidious a word," he went 
on less scathingly, " you must take from him, 
in your turn, his quite other view of what 
makes disloyalty understanding distinctly, by 
the same token, that he enjoins on you not to 
give an odious illustration of it, while he's 
away, by discussing and deploring with any one 
of your extraordinary friends any aspect or 
feature whatever of his walk and conversation. 
That pressed as I am for time," he went on 
with a glance at his watch while she remained 
silent " is the main sense of what I have to 
say to you ; so that I count on your perfect 
conformity. When you have told me that I 
may so count " and casting about for his hat 
he espied it and went to take it up " I shall 
more cordially bid you good-bye." 

His daughter looked as if she had been for 
some time expecting the law thus imposed 
upon her had been seeing where he must 
come out ; but in spite of this preparation she 
made him wait for his reply in such tension as 
he had himself created. "To Kitty I've 
practically said nothing and she herself can 



THE OUTCRY 201 

tell you why : I've in fact scarcely seen her 
this fortnight. Putting aside then Amy Sand- 
gate, the only person to whom I've spoken of 
your 'sacrifice,' as I suppose you'll let me call 
it? is Mr. Hugh Crimble, whom you talk of 
as my 'confederate' at Dedborough." 

Lord Theign recovered the name with relief. 
"Mr. Hugh Crimble that's it! whom you 
so amazingly caused to be present, and ap- 
parently invited to be active, at a business 
that so little concerned him." 

"He certainly took upon himself to be 
interested, as I had hoped he would. But it 
was because I had taken upon my self " 

"To act, yes," Lord Theign broke in, "with 
the grossest want of delicacy ! Well, it's from 
that exactly that you'll now forbear ; and ' in- 
terested ' as he may be for which I'm deucedly 
obliged to him ! you'll not speak to Mr. 
Crimble again." 

" Never again ?" the girl put it as for full 
certitude. 

" Never of the question that I thus exclude. 
You may chatter your fill," said his lordship 
curtly, "about any others." 

"Why, the particular question you forbid," 



202 THE OUTCRY 

Grace returned with great force, but as if 
saying something very reasonable "that 
question is the question we care about: it's 
our very ground of conversation." 

"Then," her father decreed, " your conversa- 
tion will please to dispense with a ground ; or 
you'll perhaps, better still if that's the only 
way! dispense with your conversation." 

Lady Grace took a moment as if to examine 
this more closely. " You require of me not 
to communicate with Mr. Crimble at all ? " 

" Most assuredly I require it since it's to 
that you insist on reducing me." He didn't 
look reduced, the master of Dedborough, 
as he spoke which was doubtless precisely 
because he held his head so high to affirm 
what he suffered. "Is it so essential to your 
comfort," he demanded, "to hear him, or to 
make him, abuse me ? " 

"'Abusing 1 you, father dear, has nothing 
whatever to do with it ! " his daughter had 
fairly lapsed, with a despairing gesture, to the 
tenderness involved in her compassion for his 
perversity. " We look at the thing in a much 
larger way," she pursued, not heeding that she 
drew from him a sound of scorn for her ( ' larger." 



THE OUTCRY 203 

"It's of our Treasure itself we talk, and of what 
can be done in such cases ; though with a close 
application, I admit, to the case that you em- 
body." 

"Ah," Lord Theign asked as with absurd 
iriosity, "I embody a case?" 

" Wonderfully, father as you do everything ; 
id it's the fact of its being exceptional," she 
explained, " that makes it so difficult to deal 
with." 

His lordship had a gape for it. " 'To deal 
with ' ? You're undertaking to ' deal ' with me ? " 

She smiled more frankly now, as for a rift 
in the gloom. "Well, how can we help it if 
you will be a case ? " And then as her tone 
but visibly darkened his wonder : " What we've 
set our hearts on is saving the picture." 

" What you've set your hearts on, in other 
words, is working straight against me ? " 

But she persisted without heat. " What 
we've set our hearts on is working for England." 

"And pray who in the world's England," 
he cried in his stupefaction, " unless / am ? " 

" Dear, dear father," she pleaded, "that's all 
we want you to be ! I mean " she didn't fear 
firmly to force it home " in the real, the right, 



204 THE OUTCRY 

the grand sense ; the sense that, you see, is so 
intensely ours." 

"'Ours'?" he couldn't but again throw 
back her word at her. " Isn't it, damn you, 
just in ours ? " 

"No, no," she interrupted " not in ours!" 
She smiled at him still, though it was strained, 
as if he really ought to perceive. 

But he glared as at a senseless juggle. 
"What and who the devil are you talking 
about? What are 'we,' the whole blest lot of 
us, pray, but the best and most English thing 
in the country : people walking and riding ! 
straight ; doing, disinterestedly, most of the 
difficult and all the thankless jobs ; minding 
their own business, above all, and expecting 
others to mind theirs ? " So he let her " have " 
the stout sound truth, as it were and so the 
direct force of it clearly might, by his view, 
have made her reel. " You and I, my lady, and 
your two decent brothers, God be thanked for 
them, and mine into the bargain, and all the 
rest, the jolly lot of us, take us together make 
us numerous enough without any foreign aid or 
mixture : if that's what I understand you to 
mean ! " 



THE OUTCRY 205 

" You don't understand me at all evidently ; 
and above all I see you don't want to ! " she had 
the bravery to add. " By ' our ' sense of what's 
due to the nation in such a case I mean Mr. 
Crimble's and mine and nobody's else at all ; 
since, as I tell you, it's only with him I've talked." 

It gave him then, every inch of him showed, 
the full, the grotesque measure of the scandal 
he faced. " So that 'you and Mr. Crimble ' 
represent the standard, for me, in your opinion, 
of the proprieties and duties of our house ? " 

Well, she was too earnest as she clearly 
wished to let him see to mind his perversion 
of it. " I express to you the way we feel." 

" It's most striking to hear, certainly, what 
you express " he had positively to laugh for it ; 
"and you speak of him, with your insufferable 
' we,' as if you were presenting him as your 
God knows what ! You've enjoyed a large 
exchange of ideas, I gather, to have arrived at 
such unanimity." And then, as if to fall into 
no trap he might somehow be laying for her, 
she dropped all eagerness and rebutted nothing : 
" You must see a great deal of your fellow- 
critic not to be able to speak of yourself 
without him ! " 



206 THE OUTCRY 

" Yes, we're fellow-critics, father" she 
accepted this opening. " I perfectly adopt your 
term." But it took her a minute to go further. 
" I saw Mr. Crimble here half an hour ago." 

" Saw him ' here ' ? " Lord Theign amazedly 
asked, " He comes to you here and Amy 
Sandgate has been silent ? " 

" It wasn't her business to tell you since, 
you see, she could leave it to me. And I 
quite expect," Lady Grace then produced, 
"that he'll come again." 

It brought down with a bang all her father's 
authority. " Then I simply exact of you that 
you don't see him." 

The pause of which she paid it the deference 
was charged like a brimming cup. "Is that what 
you really meant by your condition just now 
that when I do see him I shall not speak to him?" 

"What I 'really meant' is what I really 
mean that you bow to the law I lay upon you 
and drop the man altogether." 

" Have nothing to do with him at all ? " 

" Have nothing to do with him at all." 

' In fact " she took it in "give him wholly 
up." 

He had an impatient gesture. " You sound 



THE OUTCRY 207 

as if I asked you to give up a fortune ! " And 
then, though she had phrased his idea without 
consternation verily as if it had been in the 
balance for her he might have been moved by 
something that gathered in her eyes. " You're 
so wrapped up in him that the precious sacrifice 
is like that sort of thing ? " 

Lady Grace took her time but showed, 
as her eyes continued to hold him, what had 
gathered. " I like Mr. Crimble exceedingly, 
father I think him clever, intelligent, good ; I 
want what he wants I want it, I think, really, 
as much ; and I don't at all deny that he has 
helped to make me so want it. But that 
doesn't matter. I'll wholly cease to see him, 
I '11 give him up forever, if if ! " She faltered, 
however, she hung fire with a smile that anxi- 
ously, intensely appealed. Then she began and 
stopped again, "If if !" while her father 
caught her up with irritation. 

" ' If,' my lady ? If what, please ? " 

"If you'll withdraw the offer of our picture 
to Mr. Bender and never make another to 
any one else ! " 

He stood staring as at the size of it then 
translated it into his own terms. "If I'll 



208 THE OUTCRY 

obligingly announce to the world that I've 
made an ass of myself you'll kindly forbear 
from your united effort the charming pair of 
you to show me up for one ? " 

Lady Grace, as if consciously not caring or 
attempting to answer this, simply gave the 
first flare of his criticism time to drop. It 
wasn't till a minute passed that she said : 
" You don't agree to my compromise ? " 

Ah, the question but fatally sharpened at a 
stroke the stiffness of his spirit. "Good God, 
I'm to 'compromise' on top of everything? 
I'm to let you browbeat me, haggle and bargain 
with me, over a thing that I'm entitled to settle 
with you as things have ever been settled among 
us, by uttering to you my last parental word ? " 

1 'You don't care enough then for what you 
name ? " she took it up as scarce heeding now 
what he said. 

"For putting an end to your odious com- 
merce ? I give you the measure, on the con- 
trary," said Lord Theign, " of how much I care : 
as you give me, very strangely indeed, it strikes 
me, that of what it costs you ! " But his other 
words were lost in the hard long look at her 
from which he broke off in turn as for disgust. 



THE OUTCRY 209 

It was with an effect of decently shielding 
herself the unuttered meaning came so straight 
that she substituted words of her own. " Of 
what it costs me to redeem the picture ? " 

"To lose your tenth-rate friend" he spoke 
without scruple now. 

She instantly broke into ardent deprecation, 
pleading at once and warning. " Father, 
father, oh! You hold the thing in your 
hands." 

He pulled up before her again as to thrust 
the responsibility straight back. " My orders 
then are so much rubbish to you ? " 

Lady Grace held her ground, and they re- 
mained face to face in opposition and accusation, 
neither making the other the sign of peace. 
But the girl at least had, in her way, held out 
the olive-branch, while Lord Theign had but 
reaffirmed his will. It was for her acceptance 
of this that he searched her, her last word not 
having yet come. Before it had done so, how- 
ever, the door from the lobby opened and Mr. 
Gotch had regained their presence. This 
appeared to determine in Lady Grace a view 
of the importance of delay, which she signified 

to her companion in a " Well I must think ! " 
14 



210 THE OUTCRY 

For the butler positively resounded, and Hugh 
was there. 

"Mr. Crimble!" Mr. Gotch proclaimed 
with the further extravagance of projecting the 
visitor straight upon his lordship. 



VII 



OUR young man showed another face than the 
face his friend had lately seen him carry off, 
and he now turned it distressfully from that 
source of inspiration to Lord Theign, who was 
flagrantly, even from this first moment, no such 
source at all, and then from his noble adversary 
back again, under pressure of difficulty and 
effort, to Lady Grace, whom he directly ad- 
dressed. " Here I am again, you see and 
I've got my news, worse luck!" But his 
manner to her father was the next instant more 
brisk. " I learned you were here, my lord ; 
but as the case is important I told them it was 
all right and came up. I've been to my club," 
he added for the girl, "and found the tiresome 
thing ! " But he broke down breathless. 






THE OUTCRY 211 

"And it isn't good?" she cried with the 
highest concern. 

Ruefully, yet not abjectly, he confessed, 
" Not so good as I hoped. For I assure 
you, my lord, I counted " 

"It's the report from Pappendick about the 
picture at Verona," Lady Grace interruptingly 
explained. 

Hugh took it up, but, as we should well have 
seen, under embarrassment dismally deeper ; 
the ugly particular defeat he had to announce 
showing thus, in his thought, for a more 
awkward force than any reviving possibilities 
that he might have begun to balance against 
them. " The man I told you about also," he 
said to his formidable patron ; " whom I went 
to Brussels to talk with and who, most kindly, 
has gone for us to Verona. He has been able 
to get straight at their Mantovano, but the 
brute horribly wires me that he doesn't quite 
see the thing ; see, I mean " and he gathered 
his two hearers together now in his overflow 
of chagrin, conscious, with his break of the 
ice, more exclusively of that " my vivid vital 
point, the absolute screaming identity of the 
two persons represented. I still hold," he 



2 12 THE OUTCRY 

persuasively went on, " that our man is their 
man, but Pappendick decides that he isn't 
and as Pappendick has so much to be reckoned 
with of course I'm awfully abashed." 

Lord Theign had remained what he had 
begun by being, immeasurably and inaccessibly 
detached only with his curiosity more moved 
than he could help and as, on second thought, 
to see what sort of a still more offensive fool 
the heated youth would really make of himself. 
"Yes you seem indeed remarkably abashed ! " 

Hugh clearly was thrown again, by the cold 
" cut " of this, colder than any mere social 
ignoring, upon a sense of the damnably poor 
figure he did offer ; so that, while he 
straightened himself and kept a mastery of 
his manner and a control of his reply, we 
should yet have felt his cheek tingle. " I 
backed my own judgment strongly, I know 
and I've got my snub. But I don't in the 
least knock under." 

" Only the first authority in Europe doesn't 
care, I suppose, whether you do or not ! " 

"He isn't the first authority in Europe, 
thank God," the young man returned 
"though he is, I admit, one of the three 



THE OUTCRY 213 

or four first. And I mean to appeal I've 
another shot in my locker," he went on with 
his rather painfully forced smile to Lady 
Grace. " I had already written, you see, to 
dear old Bardi." 

" Bardi of Milan?" she recognised, it was 
admirably manifest, the appeal of his directness 
to her generosity, awkward as their predica- 
ment was also for her herself, and spoke to him 
as she might have spoken without her father's 
presence. 

It would have shown for beautiful, on the 
spot, had there been any one to perceive it, 
that he devoutly recorded her intelligence. 
1 'You know of him? how delightful of you! 
For the Italians, I now feel," he quickly 
explained, "he must have most the instinct 
and it has come over me since that he'd have 
been more our man. Besides of course his so 
knowing the Verona picture." 

She had fairly hung on his. lips. " But does 
he know ours ? " 

" No not ours yet. That is" he con- 
sciously and quickly took himself up " not 
yours ! But as Pappendick went to Verona for 
us I've asked Bardi to do us the great favour 



2i 4 THE OUTCRY 

to come here if Lord Theign will be so good," 
he said, bethinking himself with a turn, "as 
to let him examine the Moretto." He faced 
again to the personage he mentioned, who, 
simply standing off and watching, in concen- 
trated interest as well as detachment, this 
interview of his cool daughter and her still 
cooler guest, had plainly "elected," as it were, 
to give them rope to hang themselves. Star- 
ing very hard at Hugh he met his appeal, but 
in a silence clearly calculated ; against which, 
however, the young man, bearing up, made 
such head as he could. He offered his next 
word, that is, equally to the two companions. 
"It's not at all impossible for such curious 
effects have been ! that the Dedborough 
picture seen after the Verona will point a 
different moral from the Verona seen after the 
Dedborough." 

" And so awfully long after wasn't it ? " 
Lady Grace asked. 

"Awfully long after it was years ago that 
Pappendick, being in this country for such 
purposes, was kindly admitted to your house 
when none of you were there, or at least 
visible." 



THE OUTCRY 215 

"Oh of course we don't see every one!" 
she heroically kept it up. 

"You don't see every one," Hugh bravely 
laughed, "and that makes it all the more 
charming that you did, and that you still do, 
see me. I shall really get Bardi," he pursued, 
"to go again to Verona " 

" The last thing before coming here ? " 
she had guessed before he could say it ; and 
still she sustained it, so that he could shine at 
her for assent. "How happy they should 
like so to work for you ! " 

"Ah, we're a band of brothers," he returned 
" 'we few, we happy few' from country to 
country " ; to which he added, gaining more 
ease for an eye at Lord Theign : " though we 
do have our little rubs and disputes, like 
Pappendick and me now. The thing, you see, 
is the ripping interest of it all ; since," he 
developed and explained, for his elder friend's 
benefit, with pertinacious cheer and an assur- 
ance superficially at least recovered, " when 
we're really ' hit ' over a case we'll do almost 
anything in life." 

Lady Grace, recklessly throbbing in the 
breath of it all, immediately appropriated what 



2i6 THE OUTCRY 

her father let alone. "It must be so lovely to 
feel so hit!" 

"It does spoil one," Hugh laughed, "for 
milder joys. Of course what I have to 
consider is the chance putting it at the merest 
chance of Bardi's own wet blanket ! But 
that's again so very small though,' 1 he pulled 
up with a drop to the comparative dismal, 
which he offered as an almost familiar tribute 
to Lord Theign, "you'll retort upon me 
naturally that I promised you the possibility 
of Pappendick's veto would be : all on the poor 
dear old basis, you'll claim, of the wish father 
to the thought. Well, I do wish to be right as 
much as I believe I am. Only give me time ! " 
he sublimely insisted. 

" How can we prevent your using it ? " Lady 
Grace again interrupted; "or the fact either 
that if the worst comes to the worst " 

"The thing" he at once pursued "will 
always be at the least the greatest of Morettos ? 
Ah," he cried so cheerily that there was still a 
freedom in it toward any it might concern, 
"the worst sha'n't come to the worst, but the 
best to the best : my conviction of which it is 
that supports me in the deep regret I have to 



THE OUTCRY 217 

express " and he faced Lord Theign again 
"for any inconvenience I may have caused 
you by my abortive undertaking. That, I vow 
here before Lady Grace, I will yet more than 
make up ! " 

Lord Theign, after the longest but the 
blankest contemplation of him, broke hereupon, 
for the first time, that attitude of completely 
sustained and separate silence which he had 
yet made compatible with his air of having 
deeply noted every element of the scene so 
that it was of this full view his participation 
had effectively consisted. " I haven't the least 
idea, sir, what you're talking about ! " And he 
squarely turned his back, strolling toward the 
other room, the threshold of which he the next 
moment had passed, remaining scantily within, 
however, and in sight of the others, not to 
say of ourselves ; even though averted and 
ostensibly lost in some scrutiny that might 
have had for its object the great enshrined 
Lawrence. 

There ensued upon his words and move- 
ment a vivid mute passage, the richest of 
commentaries, between his companions; who, 
deeply divided by the width of the ample 



2i8 THE OUTCRY 

room, followed him with their eyes and then 
used for their own interchange these organs of 
remark, eloquent now over Hugh's unmis- 
takable dismissal at short order, on which 
obviously he must at once act. Lady Grace's 
young arms conveyed to him by a despairing 
contrite motion of surrender that she had done 
for him all she could do in his presence and 
that, however sharply doubtful the result, he 
was to leave the rest to herself. They com- 
municated thus, the strenuous pair, for their 
full moment, without speaking ; only with the 
prolonged, the charged give and take of their 
gaze and, it might well have been imagined, of 
their passion. Hugh had for an instant a show 
of hesitation of the arrested impulse, while he 
kept her father within range, to launch at that 
personage before going some final remonstrance. 
It was the girl's raised hand and gesture of 
warning that waved away for him such a 
mistake ; he decided, under her pressure, and 
after a last searching and answering look at 
her reached the door and let himself out. The 
stillness was then prolonged a minute by the 
further wait of the two others, Lord Theign 
where he had been standing and his daughter 



THE OUTCRY 219 

on the spot from which she had not moved. 
It presently ended in his lordship's turn about 
as if inferring by the silence that the intruder 
had withdrawn. 

" Is that young man your lover ? " he said 
as he drew again near. 

Lady Grace waited a little, but spoke as 
quietly as if she had been prepared. "Has 
the question a bearing on the promise you a 
short time ago demanded of me ? " 

"It has a bearing on the so extraordinary 
appearance of your intimacy with him ! " 

" You mean that if he should be what you 
ask me about your exaction would then be 
modified ? " 

" My request that you break it short off? 
That request would, on the contrary," Lord 
Theign pronounced, " rest on an immense new 
ground. Therefore I insist on your telling me 
the truth.'' 

"Won't the truth be before you, father, if 
you'll think a moment without extrava- 
gance?" After which, while, as stiffly as 
ever and it probably seemed to her im- 
patience as stupidly he didn't rise to it, she 
went on : " If I offered you not again to see 



220 THE OUTCRY 

him, does that make for you the appear- 
ance ? " 

"If you offered it, you mean, on your con- 
dition my promising not to sell ? I promised," 
said Lord Theign, " absolutely nothing at all ! " 

She took him up with all expression. " So 
I promised as little ! But that I should have 
been able to say what I did sufficiently meets 
your curiosity." 

She might, wronged as she held herself, have 
felt him stupid not to see how wronged ; but he 
was in any case acute for an evasion. " You 
risked your offer for the great equivalent over 
which you've so wildly worked yourself up." 

" Yes, I've worked myself that, I grant you 
and don't blush for ! But hardly so much as to 
renounce my 'lover' if," she prodigiously 
smiled, " I were so fortunate as to have one ! " 

" You renounced poor John mightily easily 
whom you were so fortunate as to have ! " 

Her brows rose as high as his own had ever 
done. " Do you call Lord John my lover?" 

" He was your suitor most assuredly," Lord 
Theign inimitably said, though without looking 
at her; "and as strikingly encouraged as he 
was respectfully ardent ! " 



THE OUTCRY 221 

" Encouraged by you, dear father, beyond 
doubt ! " 

" Encouraged er by every one: because 
you were (yes, you were /) encouraging. And 
what I ask of you now is a word of common 
candour as to whether you didn't, on your 
honour, turn him off because of your just then 
so stimulated views on the person who has 
been with us." 

Grace replied but after an instant, as moved 
by more things than she could say moved 
above all, in her trouble and her pity for him, 
by other things than harshness : " Oh father, 
father, father ! " 

He searched her through all the compassion 
of her cry, but appeared to give way to her 
sincerity. " Well then if I have your denial I 
take it as answering my whole question in a 
manner that satisfies me. If there's nothing, 
on your word, of that sort between you, you 
can all the more drop him." 

" But you said a moment ago that I should 
all the more in the other case that of there 
being something ! " 

He brushed away her logic-chopping. " If 
you're so keen then for past remarks I take up 



222 THE OUTCRY 

your own words I accept your own terms for 
your putting an end to Mr. Crimble." To 
which, while, turning pale, she said nothing, he 
added : " You recognise that you profess your- 
self ready " 

" Not again to see him," she now answered, 
"if you tell me the picture's safe? Yes, I 
recognise that I was ready as well as how 
scornfully little you then were ! " 

" Never mind what I then was the ques- 
tion's of what I actually am, since I close 
with you on it. The picture's therefore as 
safe as you please," Lord Theign pursued, 
" if you'll do what you just now engaged 
to." 

" I engaged to do nothing," she replied after 
a pause ; and the face she turned to him had 
grown suddenly tragic. "I've no word to take 
back, for none passed between us ; but I wont 
do what I mentioned and what you at once 
laughed at. Because," she finished, "the case 
is different." 

"Different?" he almost shouted "how, 
different?" 

She didn't look at him for it, but she was 
none the less strongly distinct. "He has been 



THE OUTCRY 223 

here and that has done it. He knows," she 
admirably emphasised. 

" Knows what I think of him, no doubt 
for a brazen young prevaricator ! But what 
else?" 

She still kept her eyes on a far-off point. 
4 'What he will have seen that I feel we're 
too good friends." 

" Then your denial of it's false," her father 
fairly thundered "and you are infatuated ?" 

It made her the more quiet. " I like him 
very much." 

" So that your row about the picture," he 
demanded with passion, "has been all a 
blind ? " And then as her quietness still held 
her: "And his a blind as much to help him 
to get at you ? " 

She looked at him again now. "He must 
speak for himself I've said what I mean." 

" But what the devil do you mean ?" Lord 
Theign, taking in the hour, had reached the 
door as in supremely baffled conclusion and 
with a sense of time lamentably lost. 

Their eyes met upon it all dreadfully across 
the wide space, and, hurried and incommoded 
as she saw him, she yet made him still stand 



224 THE OUTCRY 

a minute. Then she let everything go. " Do 
what you like with the picture ! " 

He jerked up his arm and guarding hand 
as before a levelled blow at his face, and with 
the other hand flung open the door, having 
done with her now and immediately lost to 
sight. Left alone she stood a moment looking 
before her ; then with a vague advance, held 
apparently by a quickly growing sense of the 
implication of her act, reached a table where 
she remained a little, deep afresh in thought 
only the next thing to fall into a chair close 
to it and there, with her elbows on it, yield to 
the impulse of covering her flushed face with 
her hands. 



BOOK THIRD 



I 

HUGH CRIMBLE waited again in the 
Bruton Street drawing-room this 
time at the afternoon hour ; he restlessly 
shifted his place, looked at things about him 
without seeing them ; all he saw, all he out- 
wardly studied, was his own face and figure 
as he stopped an instant before a long glass 
suspended between two windows. Just as he 
turned from that brief and perhaps not wholly 
gratified inspection Lady Grace that he had 
sent up his name to whom was immediately 
apparent presented herself at the entrance 
from the other room. These young persons 
had hereupon no instant exchange of words ; 
their exchange was mute they but paused 
where they were ; while the silence of each 
evidently tested the other for full confidence. 
A measure of this comfort came first, it would 
have appeared, to Hugh ; though he then at 
once asked for confirmation of it. 

"Am I right, Lady Grace, am I right? to 

227 



228 THE OUTCRY 

have come, I mean, after so many days of not 
hearing, not knowing, and perhaps, all too 
stupidly, not trying." And he went on as, 
still with her eyes on him, she didn't speak ; 
though, only, we should have guessed, from 
her stress of emotion. " Even if I'm wrong, 
let me tell you, I don't care simply because, 
whatever new difficulty I may have brought 
about for you here a fortnight ago, there's 
something that to-day adds to my doubt and 
my fear too great a pang, and that has made 
me feel I can scarce bear the suspense of them 
as they are." 

The girl came nearer, and if her grave face 
expressed a pity it yet declined a dread. "Of 
what suspense do you speak ? Your still being 
without the other opinion ? " 

" Ah, that worries me, yes ; and all the more, 
at this hour, as I say, that " He dropped it, 
however : "I'll tell you in a moment ! My 
real torment, all the while, has been not to 
know, from day to day, what situation, what 
complication that last scene of ours with your 
father here has let you in for ; and yet at the 
same time having no sign or sound from you \ 
to see the importance of not making anything 



THE OUTCRY 229 

possibly worse by approaching you again, how- 
ever discreetly. I've been in the dark," he 
pursued, "and feeling that I must leave you 
there ; so that now just brutally turning up 
once more under personal need and at any 
cost I don't know whether I most want or 
most fear what I may learn from you." 

Lady Grace, listening and watching, appeared 
to choose between different ways of meeting 
this appeal ; she had a pacifying, postponing 
gesture, marked with a beautiful authority, a 
sign of the value for her of what she gave 
precedence to and which waved off everything 
else. " Have you had first of all any news 
yet of Bardi ? " 

" That I have is what has driven me straight 
at you again since I've shown you before how I 
turn to you at a crisis. He has come as I 
hoped and like a regular good 'un," Hugh was 
able to state; "I've just met him at the 
station, but I pick him up again, at his hotel in 
Clifford Street, at five. He stopped, on his 
way from Dover this morning, to my extreme 
exasperation, to ' sample ' Canterbury, and I 
leave him to a bath and a change and tea. 
Then swooping down I whirl him round to 



230 THE OUTCRY 

Bond Street, where his very first apprehension 
of the thing (an apprehension, oh I guarantee 
you, so quick and clean and fine and wise) will 
be the flash-light projected well," said the 
young man, to wind up handsomely, but briefly 
and reasonably, "over the whole field of our 
question/' 

She panted with comprehension. " That of 
the two portraits being but the one sitter ! " 

" That of the two portraits being but the one 
sitter. With everything so to the good, more 
and more, that bangs in, up to the head, the 
golden nail of authenticity, and" he quite 
glowed through his gloom for it "we take 
our stand in glory on the last Mantovano in 
the world." 

It was a presumption his friend visibly 
yearned for but over which, too, with her 
eyes away from him, she still distinguished the 
shadow of a cloud. "That is if the flash-light 
comes ! " 

" That is if it comes indeed, confound it ! " 
he had to enlarge a little under the recall of 
past experience. " So now, at any rate, you 
see my tension ! " 

She looked at him again as with a vision too 



THE OUTCRY 231 

full for a waste of words. " While you on 
your side of course keep well in view Mr. 
Bender's." 

" Yes, while I keep well in view Mr. Bender's ; 
though he doesn't know, you see, of Bardi's 
being at hand." 

"Still," said the girl, always all lucid for 
the case, "if the 'flash-light' does presently 
break ! " 

"It will first take him in the eye?" Hugh 
had jumped to her idea, but he adopted it only 
to provide : "It might if he didn't now wear 
goggles, so to say ! clapped on him too hard 
by Pappendick's so damnably perverse opinion." 
With which, however, he quickly bethought 
himself. "Ah, of course, these wretched days, 
you haven't known of Pappendick's personal 
visit. After that wire from Verona I wired 
him back defiance " 

" And that brought him ? " she cried. 

" To do the honest thing, yes I will say for 
him : to renew, for full assurance, his early 
memory of our picture." 

She hung upon it. " But only to stick then 
to what he had telegraphed ? " 

" To declare that for him, lackaday ! the 



232 THE OUTCRY 

thing's a pure Moretto and to declare as 
much, moreover, with all the weight of his 
authority, to Bender himself, who of course 
made a point of seeing him." 

" So that Bender" she followed and 
wondered "is, as a consequence, wholly off?" 

It made her friend's humour play up in his 
acuteness. " Bender, Lady Grace, is, by the 
law of his being, never ' wholly ' off or on ! 
anything. He lives, like the moon, in mid-air, 
shedding his silver light on earth ; never quite 
gone, yet never all there save for inappreci- 
able moments. He would be in eclipse as a 
peril, I grant," Hugh went on "if the question 
had struck him as really closed. But luckily 
the blessed Press which is a pure heavenly 
joy and now quite immense on it keeps it 
open as wide as Piccadilly." 

"Which makes, however," Lady Grace 
discriminated, "for the danger of a grab." 

"Ah, but all the more for the shame of a 
surrender ! Of course I admit that when it's a 
question of a life spent, like his, in waiting, 
acquisitively, for the cat to jump, the only 
thing for one, at a given moment, as against 
that signal, is to be found one's self by the 



THE OUTCRY 233 

animal in the line of its trajectory. That's 
exactly," he laughed, ''where we are ! " 

She cast about as intelligently to note the 
place. " Your great idea, you mean, has so 
worked with the uproar truly as loud as it has 
seemed to come to us here ? " 

"All beyond my wildest hope," Hugh re- 
turned ; " since the sight of the picture, flocked 
to every day by thousands, so beautifully tells. 
That we must at any cost keep it, that the 
nation must, and hang on to it tight, is the cry 
that fills the air to the tune of ten letters a 
day in the Papers, with every three days a 
gorgeous leader ; to say nothing of more and 
more passionate talk all over the place, some 
of it awfully wild, but all of it wind in our 
sails." 

" I suppose it was that wind then that blew 
me round there to see the thing in its new 
light," Lady Grace said. " But I couldn't stay 
for tears ! " 

" Ah," Hugh insisted on his side for com- 
fort, "we'll crow loudest yet! And don't 
meanwhile, just dont, those splendid strange 
eyes of the fellow seem consciously to plead ? 
The women, bless them, adore him, cling 



234 THE OUTCRY 

to him, and there's talk of a ' Ladies* 
League of Protest ' all of which keeps up the 
pitch." 

" Poor Amy and I are a ladies' league," the 
girl joylessly joked "as we now take in the 
' Journal ' regardless of expense." 

"Oh then you practically have it all since," 
Hugh added after a brief hesitation, " I sup- 
pose Lord Theign himself doesn't languish 
uninformed." 

"At far-off Salsomaggiore by the papers? 
No doubt indeed he isn't spared even the 
worst," said Lady Grace "and no doubt too 
it's a drag on his cure." 

Her companion seemed struck with her lack 
of assurance. "Then you don't if I may ask 
hear from him ? " 

" I ? Never a word." 

" He doesn't write ? " Hugh allowed him- 
self to insist. 

" He doesn't write. And I don't write 
either." 

" And Lady Sandgate ? " Hugh once more 
ventured. 

"Doesn't she write?" 

"Doesn't she hear?" said the young man, 



THE OUTCRY 235 

treating the other form of the question as a 
shade evasive. 

" I've asked her not to tell me," his friend 
replied-" that is if he simply holds out." 

11 So that as she doesn't tell you " Hugh 
was clear for the inference "he of course does 
hold out." To which he added almost accus- 
ingly while his eyes searched her : " But your 
case is really bad." 

She confessed to it after a moment, but as if 
vaguely enjoying it. " My case is really bad." 

He had a vividness of impatience and con- 
trition. "And it's I who all too blunder- 
ingly ! have made it so ? " 

" I've made it so myself," she said with a 
high headshake, "and you, on the contrary ! " 
But here she checked her emphasis. 

"Ah, I've so wanted, through our horrid 
silence, to help you ! " And he pressed to get 
more at the truth. "You've so quite fatally 
displeased him ? " 

"To the last point as I tell you. But it's 
not to that I refer," she explained; "it's to 
the ground of complaint I've given you." And 
then as this but left him blank, "It's time it 
was at once time that you should know," she 



236 THE OUTCRY 

pursued ; "and yet if it's hard for me to speak, 
as you see, it was impossible for me to write. 
But there it is." She made her sad and 
beautiful effort. "The last thing before he 
left us I let the picture go." 

"You mean ?" But he could only wonder 
till, however, it glimmered upon him. " You 
gave up your protest ? " 

" I gave up my protest. I told him that 
so far as I'm concerned! he might do as he 
liked." 

Her poor friend turned pale at the sharp 
little shock of it ; but if his face thus showed 
the pang of too great a surprise he yet 
wreathed the convulsion in a gay grimace. 
"You leave me to struggle alone ? " 

" I leave you to struggle alone." 

He took it in bewilderingly, but tried again, 
even to the heroic, for optimism. "Ah well, 
you decided, I suppose, on some new personal 
ground." 

"Yes; a reason came up, a reason I hadn't 
to that extent looked for and which of a 
sudden quickly, before he went I had some- 
how to deal with. So to give him my word 
in the dismal sense I mention was my only 



THE OUTCRY 237 

way to meet the strain." She paused ; Hugh 
waited for something further, and " I gave 
him my word I wouldn't help you," she wound 
up. 

He turned it over. " To act in the matter 
I see." 

"To act in the matter" she went through 
with it "after the high stand I had taken." 

Still he studied it. " I see I see. It's 
between you and your father." 

"It's between him and me yes. An en- 
gagement not again to trouble him." 

Hugh, from his face, might have feared a 
still greater complication ; so he made, as he 
would probably have said, a jolly lot of this. 
" Ah, that was nice of you. And natural. 
That's all right!" 

"No " she spoke from a deeper depth 
" it's altogether wrong. For whatever happens 
I must now accept it." 

"Well, say you must" he really declined 
not to treat it almost as rather a "lark" "if 
we can at least go on talking." 

"Ah, we can at least go on talking!" she 
perversely sighed. " I can say anything I like 
so long as I don't say it to him ! " she almost 



238 THE OUTCRY 

wailed. But she added with more firmness : 
" I can still hope and I can still pray." 

He set free again with a joyous gesture all 
his confidence. "Well, w r hat more could you 
do, anyhow ? So isn't that enough ? " 

It took her a moment to say, and even then 
she didn't. " Is it enough for you, Mr. 
Crimble?" 

"What is enough for me" he could for his 
part readily name it " is the harm done you 
at our last meeting by my irruption ; so that 
if you got his consent to see me " 

" I didn't get his consent! " she had turned 
away from the searching eyes, but she faced 
them again to rectify : " I see you against his 
express command." 

"Ah then thank God I came! " it was like 
a bland breath on a feu de joie : he flamed so 
much higher. 

"Thank God you've come, yes for my 
deplorable exposure." And to justify her 
name for it before he could protest, " I offered 
him here not to see you," she rigorously ex- 
plained. 

"'Offered him'?" Hugh did drop for it. 
"Not to see me ever again ? " 



THE OUTCRY 239 

She didn't falter. " Never again." 

Ah then he understood. " But he wouldn't 
let that serve ? " 

11 Not for the price I put on it." 

" His yielding on the picture ? " 

" His yielding on the picture." 

Hugh lingered before it all. "Your pro- 
posal wasn't ' good enough ' ? " 

" It wasn't good enough." 

" I see," he repeated " I see." But he was 
in that light again mystified. " Then why are 
you therefore not free ? " 

" Because just after you came back, and 
I did see you again ! " 

Ah, it was all present. " You found you 
were too sorry for me ? " 

" I found I was too sorry for you as he 
himself found I was." 

Hugh had got hold of it now. " And that, 
you mean, he couldn't stomach ? " 

" So little that when you had gone (and how 
you had to go you remember) he at once pro- 
posed, rather than that I should deceive you 
in a way so different from his own " 

" To do all we want of him ? " 

41 To do all I did at least." 



2 4 o THE OUTCRY 

" And it was then" he took in, "that you 
wouldn't deal ? " 

" Well " try though she might to keep the 
colour out, it all came straighter and straighter 
now "those moments had brought you home 
to me as they had also brought him; making 
such a difference, I felt, for what he veered 
round to agree to." 

" The difference " Hugh wanted it so 
adorably definite "that you didn't see your 
way to accepting ? " 

" No, not to accepting the condition he 
named." 

" Which was that he'd keep the picture for 
you if you'd treat me as too ' low ' ? " 

" If I'd treat you," said Lady Grace with her 
eyes on his fine young face, "as impossible." 

He kept her eyes he clearly liked so to 
make her repeat it. "And not even for the 
sake of the picture ? " After he had given 
her time, however, her silence, with her beauti- 
ful look in it, seemed to admonish him not to 
force her for his pleasure ; as if what she had 
already told him didn't make him throb enough 
for the wonder of it. He had it, and let her 
see by his high flush how he made it his 



THE OUTCRY 241 

own while, the next thing, as it was but part 
of her avowal, the rest of that illumination 
called for a different intelligence. "Your 
father's reprobation of me personally is on the 
ground that you're all such great people ? " 

She spared him the invidious answer to this 
as, a moment before, his eagerness had spared 
her reserve ; she flung over the " ground " that 
his question laid bare the light veil of an 
evasion. " 'Great people, 1 I've learned to see, 
mustn't to remain great do what my father's 
doing." 

"It's indeed on the theory of their not so 
behaving," Hugh returned, " that we see them 
all the inferior rest of us in the grand 
glamour of their greatness ! " 

If he had spoken to meet her admirable 
frankness half-way, that beauty in her almost 
brushed him aside to make at a single step 
the rest of the journey. " You won't see them 
in it for long if they don't now, under such 
tests and with such opportunities, begin to take 



care." 



This had given him, at a stroke, he clearly 
felt, all freedom for the closer criticism. 

" Lord Theign perhaps recognises some such 
16 



242 THE OUTCRY 

canny truth, but 'takes care/ with the least 
trouble to himself and the finest short cut 
does it, if you'll let me say so, rather on the 
cheap by finding * the likes ' of me, as his 
daughter's trusted friend, out of the question." 

' ' Well, you won't mind that, will you?" 
Lady Grace asked, "if he finds his daughter 
herself, in any such relation to you, quite as 
much so." 

" Different enough, from position to position 
and person to person," he brightly brooded, 
" is the view that gets itself most comfortably 
taken of the implications of Honour ! " 

" Yes," the girl returned ; " my father, in the 
act of despoiling us all, all who are interested, 
without apparently the least unpleasant con- 
sciousness, keeps the balance showily even, 
to his mostly so fine, so delicate sense, by 
suddenly discovering that he's scandalised at 
my caring for your friendship." 

Hugh looked at her, on this, as with the 
gladness verily of possession promised and 
only waiting or as if from that moment forth 
he had her assurance of everything that most 
concerned him and that might most inspire. 
"Well, isn't the moral of it all simply that 



THE OUTCRY 243 

what his perversity of pride, as we can only 
hold it, will have most done for us is to bring 
us and to keep us blessedly together ? " 

She seemed for a moment to question his 
" simply." " Do you regard us as so much 
' together ' when you remember where, in spite 
of everything, I've put myself?" 

"By telling him to do what he likes?" he 
recalled without embarrassment. " Oh, that 
wasn't in spite of ' everything ' it was only 
in spite of the Mantovano." 

"'Only'?" she flushed " when I've given 
the picture up ? " 

" Ah," Hugh cried, " I don't care a hang for 
the picture ! " And then as she let him, closer, 
close to her with this, possess himself of her 
hands : " We both only care, don't we, that 
we're given to each other thus ? We both only 
care, don't we, that nothing can keep us apart ? " 

1 'Oh, if you've forgiven me !" she sighed 
into his fond face. 

" Why, since you gave the thing up for me," 
he pleadingly laughed, "it isn't as if you had 
given me up ! " 

" For anything, anything ? Ah never, 
never ! " she breathed. 



244 THE OUTCRY 

" Then why aren't we all right ? " 

-Well, if you will !" 

"Oh for ever and ever and ever!" and 
with this ardent cry of his devotion his arms 
closed in their strength and she was clasped 
to his breast and to his lips. 

The next moment, however, she had checked 
him with the warning "Amy Sandgate ! " as 
if she had heard their hostess enter the other 
room. Lady Sandgate was in fact almost 
already upon them their disjunction had 
scarce been effected and she had reached the 
nearer threshold. They had at once put the 
widest space possible between them a little 
of the flurry of which transaction agitated 
doubtless their clutch at composure. They 
gave back a shade awkwardly and consciously, 
on one side and the other, the speculative 
though gracious attention she for a few 
moments made them and their recent intimate 
relation the subject of; from all of which 
indeed Lady Grace sought and found cover 
in a prompt and responsible address to Hugh. 
" Mustn't you go without more delay to 
Clifford Street?" 

He came back to it all alert. "At once!" 



THE OUTCRY 245 

He had recovered his hat and reached the 
other door, whence he gesticulated farewell to 
the elder lady. " Please pardon me " and he 
disappeared. 

Lady Sandgate hereupon stood for a little 
silently confronted with the girl. " Have you 
freedom of mind for the fact that your father's 
suddenly at hand ? " 

"He has come back?" Lady Grace was 
sharply struck. 

"He arrives this afternoon and appears to 
go straight to Kitty according to a wire that 
I find downstairs on coming back late from my 
luncheon. He has returned with a rush as," 
said his correspondent in the elation of triumph, 
" I was sure he would ! " 

Her young friend was more at sea. " Brought 
back, you mean, by the outcry even though 
he so hates it ? " 

But she was more and more all lucidity 
save in so far as she was now almost all 
authority. "Ah, hating still more to seem 
afraid, he has come back to face the music ! " 

Lady Grace, turning away as in vague 
despair for the manner in which the music 
might affect him, yet wheeled about again, after 



246 THE OUTCRY 

thought, to a positive recognition and even to 
quite an inconsequent pride. "Yes that's 
dear old father ! " 

And what was Lady Sandgate moreover but 
mistress now of the subject ? " At the point 
the row has reached he couldn't stand it another 
day ; so he has thrown up his cure and lest 
we should oppose him ! not even announced 
his start." 

"Well," her companion returned, "now that 
I've done it all I shall never oppose him again ! " 

Lady Sandgate appeared to show herself as 
still under the impression she might have re- 
ceived on entering. " He'll only oppose you ! " 

"If he does," said Lady Grace, "we're at 
present two to bear it." 

" Heaven save us then " the elder woman 
was quick, was even cordial, for the sense of 
this " your good friend is clever ! " 

Lady Grace honoured the remark. " Mr. 
Crimble's remarkably clever." 

" And you've arranged ? " 

"We haven't arranged but we've under- 
stood. So that, dear Amy, if you under- 
stand !" Lady Grace paused, for Gotch 
had come in from the hall. 



THE OUTCRY 247 

"His lordship has arrived?" his mistress 
immediately put to him. 

" No, my lady, but Lord John has to know 
if he's expected here, and in that case, by 
your ladyship's leave, to come up." 

Her ladyship turned to the girl. " May 
Lord John as we do await your father come 
up ? " 

" As suits you, please ! " 

" He may come up," said Lady Sandgate to 
Gotch. "His lordship's expected." She had 
a pause till they were alone again, when she 
went on to her companion : " You asked me 
just now if I understood. Well I do under- 
stand ! " 

Lady Grace, with Gotch's withdrawal, which 
left the door open, had reached the passage to 
the other room. " Then you'll excuse me ! " 
she made her escape. 



II 



LORD JOHN, reannounced the next instant from 
the nearest quarter and quite waiving saluta- 
tions, left no doubt of the high pitch of his 



248 THE OUTCRY 

eagerness and tension as soon as the door had 
closed behind him. " What on earth then do 
you suppose he has come back to do ? " To 
which he added while his hostess's gesture 
impatiently disclaimed conjecture: " Because 
when a fellow really finds himself the centre of 
a cyclone ! " 

"Isn't it just at the centre," she interrupted, 
"that you keep remarkably still, and only in 
the suburbs that you feel the rage ? I count 
on dear Theign's doing nothing in the least 
foolish ! " 

" Ah, but he can't have chucked everything 
for nothing," Lord John sharply returned ; 
"and wherever you place him in the rumpus 
he can't but meet somehow, hang it, such an 
assault on his character as a great nobleman 
and good citizen." 

"It's his luck to have become with the public 
of the newspapers the scapegoat-in-chief : for 
the sins, so-called, of a lot of people! " Lady 
Sandgate inconclusively sighed. 

"Yes," Lord John concluded for her, "the 
mercenary millions on whose traffic in their 
trumpery values when they're so lucky as to 
have any ! this isn't a patch ! " 



THE OUTCRY 249 

"Oh, there are cases and cases: situations 
and responsibilities so intensely differ ! " that 
appeared on the whole, for her ladyship, the 
moral to be gathered. 

" Of course everything differs, all round, 
from everything," Lord John went on; "and 
who in the world knows anything of his own 
case but the victim of circumstances exposing 
himself, for the highest and purest motives, to 
be literally torn to pieces ? " 

"Well," said Lady Sandgate as, in her 
strained suspense, she freshly consulted her 
bracelet watch, " I hope he isn't already torn 
if you tell me you've been to Kitty's." 

" Oh, he was all right so far : he had arrived 
and gone out again," the young man explained, 
"as Lady Imber hadn't been at home." 

"Ah cool Kitty!" his hostess sighed again 
but diverted, as she spoke, by the reappear- 
ance of her butler, this time positively preced- 
ing Lord Theign, whom she met, when he 
presently stood before her, his garb of travel 
exchanged for consummate afternoon dress, with 
yearning tenderness and compassionate curi- 
osity. " At last, dearest friend what a joy ! 
But with Kitty not at home to receive you ? " 



2 5 o THE OUTCRY 

That young woman's parent made light of it 
for the indulged creature's sake. ' ' Oh I knew my 
Kitty! I dressed and I find her at five-thirty." 
To which he added as he only took in further, 
without expression, Lord John : " But Bender, 
who came there before my arrival he hasn't 
tried for me here ? " 

It was a point on which Lord John himself 
could at least be expressive. " I met him at the 
club at luncheon ; he had had your letter but 
for which chance, my dear man, I should have 
known nothing. You'll see him all right at 
this house ; but I'm glad, if I may say so, 
Theign," the speaker pursued with some 
emphasis " I'm glad, you know, to get hold 
of you first." 

Lord Theign seemed about to ask for the 
meaning of this remark, but his other com- 
panion's apprehension had already overflowed. 
" You haven't come back, have you to what- 
ever it may be ! for trouble of any sort with 
Breckenridge ? " 

His lordship transferred his penetration to 
this fair friend. " Have you become so in- 
tensely absorbed these remarkable days ! in 
' Breckenridge ' ? " 






THE OUTCRY 251 

She felt the shadow, you would have seen, 
of his claimed right, or at least privilege, of 
search yet easily, after an instant, emerged 
clear. " I've thought and dreamt but of you 
suspicious man ! in proportion as the clamour 
has spread ; and Mr. Bender meanwhile, if you 
want to know, hasn't been near me once ! " 

Lord John came in a manner, and however 
unconsciously, to her aid. " You'd have seen, 
if he had been, what's the matter with him, I 
think and what perhaps Theign has seen 
from his own letter : since," he went on to 
his fellow- visitor, " I understood him a week 
ago to have been much taken up with writing 
you." 

Lord Theign received this without comment, 
only again with an air of expertly sounding the 
speaker ; after which he gave himself afresh for 
a moment to Lady Sandgate. " I've not come 
home for any clamour, as you surely know me 
well enough to believe ; or to notice for a 
minute the cheapest insolence and aggression 
which frankly scarce reached me out there ; 
or which, so far as it did, I was daily washed 
clean of by those blest waters. I returned on 
Mr. Bender's letter," he then vouchsafed to 



252 THE OUTCRY 

Lord John " three extraordinarily vulgar 
pages about the egregious Pappendick ! " 

"About his having suddenly turned up in 
person, yes, and, as Breckenridge says, marked 
the picture down ? " the young man was 
clearly all-knowing. " That has of course 
weighed on Bender being confirmed ap- 
parently, on the whole, by the drift of public 
opinion." 

Lord Theign took, on this, with a frank 
show of reaction from some of his friend's 
terms, a sharp turn off; he even ironically 
indicated the babbler or at least the blunderer 
in question to Lady Sandgate. "He too has 
known me so long, and he comes here to talk 
to me of ' the drift of public opinion ' ! " After 
which he quite charged at his vain informant. 
" Am I to tell you again that I snap my fingers 
at the drift of public opinion ? which is but 
another name for the chatter of all the fools 
one doesn't know, in addition to all those (and 
plenty of 'em !) one damnably does." 

Lady Sandgate, by a turn of the hand, 
dropped oil from her golden cruse. " Ah, you 
did that, in your own grand way, before you 
went abroad ! " 



THE OUTCRY 253 

" I don't speak of the matter, my dear man, 
in the light of its effect on you'' Lord John 
importantly explained "but in the light of its 
effect on Bender; who so consumedly wants 
the picture, if he is to have it, to be a 
Mantovano, but seems unable to get it taken 
at last for anything but the fine old Moretto 
that of course it has always been." 

Lord Theign, in growing disgust at the 
whole beastly complication, betrayed more and 
more the odd pitch of the temper that had 
abruptly restored him with such incalculable 
weight to the scene of action. "Well, isn't 
a fine old Moretto good enough for him, 
confound him ? " 

It pulled up not a little Lord John, who 
yet made his point. " A fine old Moretto, 
you know, was exactly what he declined at 
Dedborough for its comparative, strictly com- 
parative, insignificance ; and he only thought 
of the picture when the wind began to rise for 
the enormous rarity " 

"That that mendacious young cad who has 
bamboozled Grace," Lord Theign broke in, 
"tried to befool us, for his beggarly reasons, 
into claiming for it ? " 



254 THE OUTCRY 

Lady Sandgate renewed her mild influence. 
"Ah, the knowing people haven't had their 
last word the possible Mantovano isn't 
exploded yet I " 

Her noble friend, however, declined the 
offered spell. "I've had enough of the know- 
ing people the knowing people are serpents ! 
My picture's to take or to leave and it's what 
I've come back, if you please, John, to say to 
your man to his face." 

This declaration had a report as sharp and 
almost as multiplied as the successive cracks 
of a discharged revolver ; yet when the light 
smoke cleared Lady Sandgate at least was 
still left standing and smiling. "Yes, why in 
mercy's name can't he choose which ? and 
why does he write him, dreadful Breckenridge, 
such tiresome argumentative letters ? " 

Lord John took up her idea as with the air 
of something that had been working in him 
rather vehemently, though under due caution 
too, as a consequence of this exchange, during 
which he had apprehensively watched his elder. 
" I don't think I quite see how, my dear Theign, 
the poor chap's letter was so offensive." 

In that case his dear Theign could tell him. 



THE OUTCRY 255 

4< Because it was a tissue of expressions that 
may pass current over counters and in awful 
newspapers in his extraordinary world or 
country, but that I decline to take time to 
puzzle out here." 

"If he didn't make himself understood,'* 
Lord John took leave to laugh, "it must 
indeed have been an [unusual production for 
Bender." 

" Oh, I often, with the wild beauty, if you 
will, of so many of his turns, haven't a notionj" 
Lady Sandgate confessed with an equal gaiety, 
" of what he's talking about." 

" I think I never miss his weird sense," her 
younger guest again loyally contended "and 
in fact as a general thing I rather like it ! " 

" I happen to like nothing that I don't 
enjoy," Lord Theign rejoined with some 
asperity " and so far as I do follow the fellow 
he assumes on my part an interest in his ex- 
penditure of purchase-money that I neither feel 
nor pretend to. He doesn't want by what I 
spell out the picture he refused at Ded- 
borough ; he may possibly want if one reads 
it so the picture on view in Bond Street ; and 
he yet appears to make, with great emphasis, 



256 THE OUTCRY 

the stupid ambiguous point that these two 
4 articles ' (the greatest of Morettos an ' article ' !) 
haven't been * by now ' proved different : as if 
I engaged with him that I myself would so 
prove them ! " 

Lord John indulged in a pause but also in 
a suggestion. " He must allude to your 
hoping when you allowed us to place the 
picture with Mackintosh that it would show 
to all London in the most precious light 
conceivable." 

"Well, if it hasn't so shown" and Lord 
Theign stared as if mystified "what in the 
world's the meaning of this preposterous 
racket ? " 

" The racket is largely," his young friend 
explained, "the vociferation of the people who 
contradict each other about it." 

On which their hostess sought to enliven the 
gravity of the question. " Some yes shout- 
ing on the house-tops that's a Mantovano of 
the Mantovanos, and others shrieking back at 
them that they're donkeys if not criminals." 

"He may take it for whatever he likes," 
said Lord Theign, heedless of these contri- 
butions, "he may father it on Michael Angelo 



THE OUTCRY 257 

himself if he'll but clear out with it and let me 
alone ! " 

" What he'd like to take it for," Lord John 
at this point saw his way to remark, " is some- 
thing in the nature of a Hundred Thousand." 

"A Hundred Thousand?" cried his 
astonished friend. 

" Quite, I daresay, a Hundred Thousand" 
the young man enjoyed clearly handling even 
by the lips so round a sum. 

Lady Sandgate disclaimed however with 
agility any appearance of having gaped. 
"Why, haven't you yet realised, Theign, that 
those are the American figures ? " 

His lordship looked at her fixedly and then 
did the same by Lord John, after which he 
waited a little. " I've nothing to do with the 
American figures which seem to me, if you 
press me, you know, quite intolerably vulgar." 

" Well, I'd be as vulgar as anybody for a 
Hundred Thousand ! " Lady Sandgate hastened 
to proclaim. 

" Didn't he let us know at Dedborough," 
Lord John asked of the master of that seat, 
" that he had no use, as he said, for lower 

values ? " 
17 



2 5 8 THE OUTCRY 

" I've heard him remark myself," said their 
companion, rising to the monstrous memory, 
"that he wouldn't take a cheap picture even 
though a ' handsome ' one as a present." 

"And does he call the thing round the 
corner a cheap picture ? " the proprietor of the 
work demanded. 

Lord John threw up his arms with a grin of 
impatience. " All he wants to do, don't you 
see ? is to prevent your making it one ! " 

Lord Theign glared at this imputation to 
him of a low ductility. " I offered the thing, 
as it was, at an estimate worthy of it and of 



me." 



" My dear reckless friend," his young adviser 
protested, "you named no figure at all when it 
came to the point ! " 

"It didrit come to the point! Nothing 
came to the point but that I put a Moretto on 
view ; as a thing, yes, perfectly " Lord 
Theign accepted the reminding gesture "on 
which a rich American had an eye and in 
which he had, so to speak, an interest. That 
was what I wanted, and so we left it parting 
each of us ready but neither of us bound." 

"Ah, Mr. Bender's bound, as he'd say," 



THE OUTCRY 259 

Lady Sandgate interposed " ( bound ' to make 
you swallow the enormous luscious plum that 
your appetite so morbidly rejects ! " 

" My appetite, as morbid as you like " her 
old friend had shrewdly turned on her "is 
my own affair, and if the fellow must deal in 
enormities I warn him to carry them else- 
where ! " 

Lord John, plainly, by this time, was quite 
exasperated at the absurdity of him. " But 
how can't you see that it's only a plum, as she 
says, for a plum and an eye for an eye since 
the picture itself, with this huge ventilation, is 
now quite a different affair ? " 

"How the deuce a different affair when just 
what the man himself confesses is that, in spite 
of all the chatter of the prigs and pedants, 
there's no really established ground for treating 
it as anything but the same ? " On which, as 
having so unanswerably spoken, Lord Theign 
shook himself free again, in his high petulance, 
and moved restlessly to where the passage to 
the other room appeared to offer his nerves an 
issue ; all moreover to the effect of suggesting 
to us that something still other than what he 
had said might meanwhile work in him behind 



26o THE OUTCRY 

and beneath that quantity. The spectators of 
his trouble watched him, for the time, in un- 
certainty and with a mute but associated com- 
ment on the perversity and oddity he had so 
suddenly developed ; Lord John giving a shrug 
of almost bored despair and Lady Sandgate 
signalling caution and tact for their action by a 
finger flourished to her lips, and in fact at once 
proceeding to apply these arts. The subject of 
her attention had still remained as in worried 
thought ; he had even mechanically taken up a 
book from a table which he then, after an 
absent glance at it, tossed down. 

"You're so detached from reality, you ador- 
able dreamer," she began " and unless you 
stick to that you might as well have done 
nothing. What you call the pedantry and 
priggishness and all the rest of it is exactly 
what poor Breckenridge asked almost on his 
knees, wonderful man, to be allowed to pay 
you for ; since even if the meddlers and 
chatterers haven't settled anything for those 
who know though which of the elect them- 
selves after all does seem to know? it's a 
great service rendered him to have started such 
a hare to run ! " 



THE OUTCRY 261 

Lord John took freedom to throw off very 
much the same idea. " Certainly his connec- 
tion with the whole question and agitation 
makes no end for his glory." 

It didn't, that remark, bring their friend 
back to him, but it at least made his indiffer- 
ence flash with derision. " His 'glory' Mr. 
Bender's glory ? Why, they quite universally 
loathe him judging by the stuff they print ! " 

" Oh, here as a corrupter of our morals and 
a promoter of our decay, even though so many 
are flat on their faces to him yes ! But it's 
another affair over there where the eagle 
screams like a thousand steam-whistles and the 
newspapers flap like the leaves of the forest : 
there he'll be, if you'll only let him, the biggest 
thing going ; since sound, in that air, seems to 
mean size, and size to be all that counts. If he 
said of the thing, as you recognise," Lord John 
went on, " ' It's going to be a Mantovano, ' why 
you can bet your life that it is that it has got 
to be some kind of a one." 

His fellow-guest, at this, drew nearer again, 
irritated, you would have been sure, by the 
unconscious infelicity of the pair worked 
up to something quite openly wilful and 



262 THE OUTCRY 

passionate. " No kind of a furious flaunting 
one, under my patronage, that I can prevent, 
my boy ! The Dedborough picture in the 
market owing to horrid little circumstances that 
regard myself alone is the Dedborough picture, 
at a decent, sufficient, civilised Dedborough 
price, and nothing else whatever ; which I beg 
you will take as my last word on the subject." 

Lord John, trying whether he could take it, 
momentarily mingled his hushed state with 
that of their hostess, to whom he addressed 
a helpless look ; after which, however, he 
appeared to find that he could only reassert 
himself. " May I nevertheless reply that I 
think you'll not be able to prevent anything ? 
since the discussed object will completely 
escape your control in New York ! " 

" And almost any discussed object " Lady 
Sandgate rose to the occasion also "is in 
New York, by what one hears, easily worth a 
Hundred Thousand ! " 

Lord Theign looked from one of them to the 
other. " I sell the man a Hundred Thousand 
worth of swagger and advertisement, and ol 
fraudulent swagger and objectionable advertise- 
ment at that ? " 



THE OUTCRY 263 

"Well" Lord John was but briefly baffled 
"when the picture's his you can't help its 
doing what it can and what it will for him 
anywhere ! " 

"Then it isn't his yet," the elder man 
retorted "and I promise you never will be if 
he has sent you to me with his big drum ! " 

Lady Sandgate turned sadly on this to her 
associate in patience, as if the case were now 
really beyond them. "Yes, how indeed can it 
ever become his if Theign simply won't let him 
pay for it ? " 

Her question was unanswerable. "It's the 
first time in all my life I've known a man 
feel insulted, in such a piece of business, by 
happening not to be, in the usual way, more or 
less swindled ! " 

"Theign is unable to take it in," her lady- 
ship explained, "that as I've heard it said of 
all these money-monsters of the new type 
Bender simply can't afford not to be cited and 
celebrated as the biggest buyer who ever lived." 

" Ah, cited and celebrated at my expense 
say it at once and have it over, that I may 
enjoy what you all want to do to me ! " 

"The dear man's inimitable at his 'ex- 



264 THE OUTCRY 

pense'!" It was more than Lord John could 
bear as he fairly flung himself off in his 
derisive impotence and addressed his wail to 
Lady Sandgate. 

" Yes, at my expense is exactly what I 
mean," Lord Theign asseverated "at the 
expense of my modest claim to regulate my 
behaviour by my own standards. There you 
perfectly are about the man, and it's precisely 
what I say that he's to hustle and harry me 
because he's a money-monster : which I never 
for a moment dreamed of, please understand, 
when I let you, John, thrust him at me as a 
pecuniary resource at Dedborough. I didn't 
put my property on view that he might blow 
about it ! " 

" No, if you like," Lady Sandgate returned ; 
"but you certainly didn't so arrange" she 
seemed to think her point somehow would help 
" that you might blow about it yourself! " 

" Nobody wants to * blow,' " Lord John more 
stoutly interposed, "either hot or cold, I take 
it ; but I really don't see the harm of Bender's 
liking to be known for the scale of his trans- 
actions actual or merely imputed even, if you 
will ; since that scale is really so magnificent." 



THE OUTCRY 265 

Lady Sandgate half accepted, half qualified 
this plea. " The only question perhaps is why 
he doesn't try for some precious work that 
somebody less delicious than dear Theign 
can be persuaded on bended knees to accept 
a hundred thousand for." 

" ' Try ' for one ? " her younger visitor took 
it up while her elder more attentively watched 
him. " That was exactly what he did try for 
when he pressed you so hard in vain for the 
great Sir Joshua." 

" Oh well, he mustn't come back to that 
must he, Theign ? " her ladyship cooed. 

That personage failed to reply, so that Lord 
John went on, unconscious apparently of the 
still more suspicious study to which he exposed 
himself. " Besides which there are no things 
of that magnitude knocking about, don't you 
know ? they've got to be worked up first if 
they're to reach the grand publicity of the 
Figure! Would you mind," he continued to 
his noble monitor, "an agreement on some 
such basis as this ? that you shall resign 
yourself to the biggest equivalent you'll 
squeamishly consent to take, if it's at the same 
time the smallest he'll squeamishly consent to 



266 THE OUTCRY 

offer ; but that, that done, you shall leave him 
free " 

Lady Sandgate took it up straight, rounding 
it off, as their companion only waited. " Leave 
him free to talk about the sum offered and the 
sum taken as practically one and the same ? " 

"Ah, you know," Lord John discriminated, 
"he doesn't 'talk' so much himself there's 
really nothing blatant or crude about poor 
Bender. It's the rate at which by the very 
way he's ' fixed ' : an awful way indeed, I 
grant you ! a perfect army of reporter- 
wretches, close at his heels, are always talking 
for him and of him." 

Lord Theign spoke hereupon at last with the 
air as of an impulse that had been slowly 
gathering force. " You talk for him, my dear 
chap, pretty well. You urge his case, my 
honour, quite as if you were assured of a 
commission on the job on a fine ascending 
scale ! Has he put you up to that proposition, 
eh ? Do you get a handsome percentage and 
are you to make a good thing of it ? " 

The young man coloured under this stinging 
pleasantry whether from a good conscience 
affronted or from a bad one made worse ; but 



THE OUTCRY 267 

he otherwise showed a bold front, only bending 
his eyes a moment on his watch. " As he's 
to come to you himself and I don't know why 
the mischief he doesn't come ! he will answer 
you that graceful question." 

''Will he answer it," Lord Theign asked, 
" with the veracity that the suggestion you've 
just made on his behalf represents him as so 
beautifully adhering to ? " On which he again 
quite fiercely turned his back and recovered his 
detachment, the others giving way behind him 
to a blanker dismay. 

Lord John, in spite of this however, pumped 
up a tone. " I don't see why you should speak 
as if I were urging some abomination." 

" Then I'll tell you why ! "and Lord Theign 
was upon him again for the purpose. " Be- 
cause I had rather give the cursed thing away 
outright and for good and all than that it should 
hang out there another day in the interest of 
such equivocations ! " 

Lady Sandgate's dismay yielded to her 
wonder, and her wonder apparently in turn to 
her amusement. " ' Give it away,' my dear 
friend, to a man who only longs to smother 
you in gold ? " 



268 THE OUTCRY 

Her dear friend, however, had lost patience 
with her levity. " Give it away just for a 
luxury of protest and a stoppage of chatter 
to some cause as unlike as possible that of Mr. 
Bender's power of sound and his splendid 
reputation : to the Public, to the Authorities, 
to the Thingumbob, to the Nation ! " 

Lady Sandgate broke into horror while Lord 
John stood sombre and stupefied. "Ah, my 
dear creature, you've flights of extra- 
vagance ! " 

"One thing's very certain," Lord Theign 
quite heedlessly pursued " that the thought of 
my property on view there does give intoler- 
ably on my nerves, more and more every 
minute that I'm conscious of it; so that, hang 
it, if one thinks of it, why shouldn't I, for my 
relief, do again, damme, what I Like ? that is 
bang the door in their faces, have the show 
immediately stopped?" He turned with the 
attraction of this idea from one of his listeners 
to the other. " It's my show it isn't Bender's 
surely and I can do just as I choose with it." 

"Ah, but isn't that the very point?" and 
Lady Sandgate put it to Lord John. " Isn't 
it Bender's show much more than his ? " 



THE OUTCRY 269 

Her invoked authority, however, in answer 
to this, made but a motion of disappointment 
and disgust at so much rank folly while Lord 
Theign, on the other hand, followed up his 
happy thought. "Then if it's Bender's show, 
or if he claims it is, there's all the more 
reason ! " And it took his lordship's inspira- 
tion no longer to flower. " See here, John 
do this : go right round there this moment, 
please, and tell them from me to shut straight 
down ! " 

" ' Shut straight down ' ? " the young man 
abhorrently echoed. 

"Stop it to-night wind it up and end it: 
see ? " The more the entertainer of that 
vision held it there the more charm it clearly 
took on for him. " Have the picture removed 
from view and the incident closed." 

" You seriously ask that of me ! " poor Lord 
John quavered. 

" Why in the world shouldn't I ? It's a jolly 
lot less than you asked of me a month ago at 
Dedborough." 

"What then am I to say to them ?" Lord 
John spoke but after a very long moment, 
during which he had only looked hard and 



270 THE OUTCRY 

an observer might even then have felt omin- 
ously at his taskmaster. 

That personage replied as if wholly to have 
done with the matter. "Say anything that 
comes into your clever head. I don't really 
see that there's anything else/0r you ! " Lady 
Sandgate sighed to the messenger, who gave 
no sign save of positive stiffness. 

The latter seemed still to weigh his dis- 
pleasing obligation ; then he eyed his friend 
significantly almost portentously. " Those 
are absolutely your sentiments ? " 

" Those are absolutely my sentiments " and 
Lord Theign brought this out as with the 
force of a physical push. 

"Very well then!" But the young man, 
indulging in a final, a fairly sinister, study of 
such a dealer in the arbitrary, made sure of 
the extent, whatever it was, of his own wrong. 
" Not one more day ? " 

Lord Theign only waved him away. "Not 
one more hour ! " 

He paused at the door, this reluctant spokes- 
man, as if for some supreme protest ; but after 
another prolonged and decisive engagement 
with the two pairs of eyes that waited, though 



THE OUTCRY 271 

differently, on his performance, he clapped on 
his hat as in the rage of his resentment and 
departed on his mission. 



Ill 



"HE can't bear to do it, poor man!" Lady 
Sandgate ruefully remarked to her remaining 
guest after Lord John had, under extreme 
pressure, dashed out to Bond Street. 

"I dare say not!" Lord Theign, flushed 
with the felicity of self-expression, made little 
of that. " But he goes too far, you see, and 
it clears the air pouah ! Now therefore " 
and he glanced at the clock " I must go to 
Kitty." 

" Kitty with what Kitty wants," Lady Sand- 
gate opined " won't thank you for that / " 

"She never thanks me for anything" and 
the fact of his resignation clearly added here to 
his bitterness. " So it's no great loss ! " 

"Won't you at any rate," his hostess asked, 
"wait for Bender?" 

His lordship cast it to the winds. "What 
have I to do with him now ? " 



272 THE OUTCRY 

<4 Why surely if he'll accept your own 
price ! " 

Lord Theign thought he wondered ; and 
then as if fairly amused at himself: " Hanged 
if I know what is my own price ! " After which 
he went for his hat. " But there's one thing," 
he remembered as he came back with it : 
" where 's my too, too unnatural daughter?" 

"If you mean Grace and really want her 
I'll send and find out." 

"Not now" he bethought himself. "But 
does she see that chatterbox ? " 

" Mr. Crimble ? Yes, she sees him." 

He kept his eyes on her. " Then how far 
has it gone ? " 

Lady Sandgate overcame an embarrassment. 
"Well, not even yet, I think, so far as they'd 
like." 

"They'd 'like' heaven save the mark! 
to marry ? " 

" I suspect them of it. What line, if it 
should come to that," she asked, "would you 
then take?" 

He was perfectly prompt. "The line that 
for Grace it's simply ignoble." 

The force of her deprecation of such language 



THE OUTCRY 273 

was qualified by tact. " Ah, darling, as dreadful 
as that ? " 

He could but view the possibility with dark 
resentment. "It lets us so down from 
what we've always been and done ; so down, 
down, down that I'm amazed you don't feel 
it ! " 

"Oh, I feel there's still plenty to keep you 
up ! " she soothingly laughed. 

He seemed to consider this vague amount 
which he apparently judged, however, not so 
vast as to provide for the whole yearning of 
his nature. "Well, my dear," he thus more 
blandly professed, " I shall need all the extra 
agrtment that your affection can still supply." 

If nothing could have been, on this, richer 
than her response, nothing could at the same 
time have been more pleasing than her 
modesty. " Ah, my affection, Theign, is, as 
I think you know, a fountain always at flood ; 
but in any more worldly element than that I'm 
as you've ever seen for yourself a poor 
struggler with my own sad affairs, a broken 
reed ; not a bit 'great,' as they used so finely 
to call it! You are great with the natural 
sense of greatness and, for your supreme 

18 



274 THE OUTCRY 

support, the instinctive grand manner of doing 
and taking things." 

He sighed, none the less, he groaned, with 
his frown of trouble, for the strain he foresaw 
on these resources. "If you mean that I hold 
up my head, on proper grounds, I grant that I 
always have. But how's that longer possible 
when my children commit such base 
vulgarities ? Why in the name of good- 
ness have I such children ? What the devil 
has got into 'em ? and is it really the case 
that when Grace offers me for a proof of her 
license and a specimen of her taste such a son- 
in-law as you tell me I'm in danger of I've just 
helplessly to swallow the dose ? " 

" Do you find Mr. Crimble," Lady Sand- 
gate asked as if there might really be some- 
thing to say for him, " so utterly out of the 
question ? " 

" I found him on the two occasions before I 
went away in the last degree offensive and 
outrageous ; but even if he charged one and 
one's poor dear decent old defences with less 
rabid a fury everything about him would 
forbid that kind of relation." 

What kind of relation, if any, Hugh's 



THE OUTCRY 275 

deficiencies might still render thinkable Lord 
Theign was kept from going on to mention 
by the voice of Mr. Gotch, who had thrown 
open the door to the not altogether assured 
sound of " Mr. Breckenridge Bender." The 
guest in possession gave a cry of impatience > 
but Lady Sandgate said " Coming up ? " 

" If his lordship will see him." 

" Oh, he's beyond his time," his lordship 
pronounced " I can't see him now ! " 

" Ah, but mustn't you and mayn't /then ? " 
She waited, however, for no response to signify 
to her servant " Let him come," and her com- 
panion could but exhale a groan of reluctant 
accommodation as if he wondered at the point 
she made of it. It enlightened him indeed 
perhaps a little that she went on while Gotch 
did her bidding. " Does the kind of relation 
you'd be condemned to with Mr. Crimble let 
you down, down, down, as you say, more than 
the relation you've been having with Mr. 
Bender ? " 

Lord Theign had for it the most uninforming 
of stares. " Do you mean don't I hate 'em 
equally both ? " 

She cut his further reply short, however, by 



276 THE OUTCRY 

a " Hush ! " of warning Mr. Bender was there 
and his introducer had left them. 

Lord Theign, full of his purpose of departure, 
sacrificed hereupon little to ceremony. " I've 
but a moment, to my regret, to give you, Mr. 
Bender, and if you've been unavoidably de- 
tained, as you great bustling people are so apt 
to be, it will perhaps still be soon enough for 
your comfort to hear from me that I've just 
given order to close our exhibition. From the 
present hour on, sir " he put it with the firm- 
ness required to settle the futility of an appeal. 

Mr. Bender's large surprise lost itself, how- 
ever, promptly enough, in Mr. Bender's larger 
ease. "Why, do you really mean it, Lord 
Theign ? removing already from view a work 
that gives innocent gratification to thousands ? " 

" Well," said his lordship curtly, " if thousands 
have seen it I've done what I wanted, and it 
they've been gratified I'm content and invite 
you to be." 

Mr. Bender showed more keenness for this 
richer implication. " In other words it's I who 
may remove the picture ? " 

"Well if you'll take it on my estimate." 

" But what, Lord Theign, all this time," Mr. 



THE OUTCRY 277 

Bender almost pathetically pleaded, "is your 
estimate ? " 

The parting guest had another pause, which 
prolonged itself, after he had reached the door, 
in a deep solicitation of their hostess's conscious 
eyes. This brief passage apparently inspired 
his answer. " Lady Sandgate will tell you." 
The door closed behind him. 

The charming woman smiled then at her 
other friend, whose comprehensive presence 
appeared now to demand of her some account 
of these strange proceedings. " He means 
that your own valuation is much too shockingly 

high.- 

" But how can I know how much unless I 
find out what he'll take ? " The great collector's 
spirit had, in spite of its volume, clearly not 
reached its limit of expansion. " Is he crazily 
waiting for the thing to be proved not what 
Mr. Crimble claims ? " 

" No, he's waiting for nothing since he 
holds that claim demolished by Pappendick's 
tremendous negative, which you wrote to tell 
him of." 

Vast, undeveloped and suddenly grave, Mr. 
Bender's countenance showed like a barren 



278 THE OUTCRY 

tract under a black cloud. " I wrote to report, 
fair and square, on Pappendick, but to tell him I'd 
take the picture just the same, negative and all." 

"Ah, but take it in that way not for what 
it is but for what it isn't." 

"We know nothing about what it 'isn't,"* 
said Mr. Bender, " after all that has happened 
we've only learned a little better every day 
what it is." 

"You mean," his companion asked, "the 
biggest bone of artistic contention ? " 

"Yes" he took it from her "the biggest 
that has been thrown into the arena for quite a 
while. I guess I can do with it for that." 

Lady Sandgate, on this, after a moment, 
renewed her personal advance ; it was as if she 
had now made sure of the soundness of her 
main bridge. "Well, if it's the biggest bone I 
won't touch it ; Til leave it to be mauled by my 
betters. But since his lordship has asked me 
to name a price, dear Mr. Bender, I'll name one 
and as you prefer big prices I'll try to make 
it suit you. Only it won't be for the portrait of 
a person nobody is agreed about. The whole 
world is agreed, you know, about my great- 
grandmother." 



THE OUTCRY 279 

"Oh, shucks, Lady Sandgate!" and her 
visitor turned from her with the hunch of over- 
charged shoulders. 

But she apparently felt that she held him, or 
at least that even if such a conviction might be 
fatuous she must now put it to the touch. 
"You've been delivered into my hands too 
charmingly ; and you won't really pretend that 
you don't recognise that and in fact rather like 
it." 

He faced about to her again as to a case of 
coolness unparalleled though indeed with a 
quick lapse of real interest in the question of 
whether he had been artfully practised upon ; an 
indifference to bad debts or peculation like that 
of some huge hotel or other business involving 
a margin for waste. He could afford, he could 
work waste too, clearly and what was it, that 
term, you might have felt him ask, but a mean 
measure, anyway ? quite as the " artful," opposed 
to his larger game, would be the hiding and 
pouncing of children at play. " Do I gather 
that those uncanny words of his were just 
meant to put me off?" he inquired. And then 
as she but boldly and smilingly shrugged, 
repudiating responsibility, " Look here, Lady 



2 8o THE OUTCRY 

Sandgate, ain't you honestly going to help me ? " 
he pursued. 

This engaged her sincerity without affecting 
her gaiety. " Mr. Bender, Mr. Bender, I'll 
help you if you'll help me ! " 

"You'll really get me something from him to 
go on with ? " 

"I'll get you something from him to go on 
with." 

" That's all I ask to get that. Then I can 
move the way I want. But without it I'm 
held up." 

"You shall have it," she replied, "if I 
in turn may look to you for a trifle on 
account." 

"Well," he dryly gloomed at her, "what do 
you call a trifle ? " 

" I mean " she waited but an instant " what 
you would feel as one." 

"That won't do. You haven't the least 
idea, Lady Sandgate," he earnestly said, "how 
I feel at these foolish times. I've never got 
used to them yet." 

"Ah, don't you understand," she pressed, 
"that if I give you an advantage I'm com- 
pletely at your mercy ? " 



THE OUTCRY 281 

"Well, what mercy," he groaned, " do you 
deserve ? " 

She waited a little, brightly composed then 
she indicated her inner shrine, the whereabouts 
of her precious picture. " Go and look at her 
again and you'll see." 

His protest was large, but so, after a moment, 
was his compliance his heavy advance upon 
the other room, from just within the doorway 
of which the great Lawrence was serenely 
visible. Mr. Bender gave it his eyes once 
more though after the fashion verily of a 
man for whom it had now no freshness of a 
glamour, no shade of a secret ; then he came 
back to his hostess. " Do you call giving me 
an advantage squeezing me by your sweet 
modesty for less than I may possibly bear ? " 

" How can I say fairer," she returned, "than 
that, with my backing about the other picture, 
which I've passed you my word for, thrown in, 
I'll resign myself to whatever you may be 
disposed characteristically ! to give for this 



one." 



"If it's a question of resignation," said Mr. 
Bender, "you mean of course what I may be 
disposed characteristically! not to give." 



282 THE OUTCRY 

She played on him for an instant all her 
radiance. "Yes then, you dear sharp rich 
thing!" 

"And you take in, I assume," he pursued, 
"that I'm just going to lean on you, for what 
I want, with the full weight of a determined 



man." 



"Well," she laughed, "I promise you I'll 
thoroughly obey the direction of your pressure." 

" All right then ! " And he stopped before 
her, in his unrest, monumentally pledged, yet 
still more massively immeasurable. " How'll 
you have it ? " 

She bristled as with all the possible 
beautiful choices ; then she shed her selection 
as a heaving fruit-tree might have dropped 
some round ripeness. It was for her friend to 
pick up his plum and his privilege. " Will you 
write a cheque ? " 

" Yes, if you want it right away. " To which, 
however, he added, clapping vainly a breast- 
pocket : " But my cheque-book's down in my 



car." 



"At the door?" She scarce required his 
assent to touch a bell. " I can easily send for 
it." And she threw off while they waited : 



THE OUTCRY 283 

41 It's so sweet your ' flying round ' with your 
cheque-book ! " 

He put it with promptitude another way. 
41 It flies round pretty well with me!" 

" Mr. Bender's cheque-book in his car,'* 
she went on to Gotch, who had answered her 
summons. 

The owner of the interesting object further 
instructed him : ' ' You'll find in the pocket a 
large red morocco case." 

"Very good, sir," said Gotch but with 
another word for his mistress. ''Lord John 
would like to know " 

" Lord John's there ? " she interrupted. 

Gotch turned to the open door. " Here he 
is, my lady." 

She accommodated herself at once, under 
Mr. Bender's eye, to the complication involved 
in his lordship's presence, "It's he who went 
round to Bond Street." 

Mr. Bender stared, but saw the connection. 
41 To stop the show ?" And then as the young 
man was already there : " You've stopped the 
show ? " 

"It's ' on ' more than ever ! " Lord John 
responded while Gotch retired : a hurried, 



284 THE OUTCRY 

flurried, breathless Lord John, strikingly differ- 
ent from the backward messenger she had 
lately seen despatched. " But Theign should 
be here ! " he addressed her excitedly. " I 
announce you a call from the Prince." 

"The Prince?" she gasped as for the 
burden of the honour. " He follows you?" 

Mr. Bender, with an eagerness and a 
candour there was no mistaking, recognised on 
behalf of his ampler action a world of associa- 
tional advantage and auspicious possibility. 
" Is the Prince after the thing ? " 

Lord John remained, in spite of this chal- 
lenge, conscious of nothing but his message. 
"He was there with Mackintosh to see and 
admire the picture ; which he thinks, by the 
way, a Mantovano pure and simple ! and did 
me the honour to remember me. When he 
heard me report to Mackintosh in his presence 
the sentiments expressed to me here by our 
noble friend and of which, embarrassed though 
I doubtless was," the young man pursued to 
Lady Sandgate, " I gave as clear an account as 
I could, he was so delighted with it that he 
declared they mustn't think then of taking the 
thing off, but must on the contrary keep 



THE OUTCRY 285 

putting it forward for all it's worth, and he 
would come round and congratulate and thank 
Theign and explain him his reasons." 

Their hostess cast about for a sign. " Why 
Theign is at Kitty's, worse luck ! The Prince 
calls on him here ? " 

"He calls, you see, on you, my lady at 
five-forty-five ; and graciously desired me so to 
put it you." 

" He's very kind, but" she took in her 
condition "I'm not even dressed!" 

"You'll have time" the young man was a 
comfort " while I rush to Berkeley Square. 
And pardon me, Bender though it's so near 
if I just bag your car." 

"That's, that's it, take his car!" Lady 
Sandgate almost swept him away. 

" You may use my car all right," Mr. Bender 
contributed "but what I want to know is 
what the man's after" 

"The man? what man?" his friend scarce 
paused to ask. 

"The Prince then if you allow he is a 
man ! Is he after my picture ? " 

Lord John vividly disclaimed authority. 
" If you'll wait, my dear fellow, you'll see." 



286 THE OUTCRY 

"Oh why should he 'wait'?" burst from 
their cautious companion only to be caught 
up, however, in the next breath, so swift her 
gracious revolution. "Wait, wait indeed, Mr. 
Bender I won't give you up for any Prince ! " 
With which she appealed again to Lord John. 
" He wants to ' congratulate ' ? " 

"On Theign's decision, as I've told you 
which I announced to Mackintosh, by Theign's 
extraordinary order, under his Highness's nose, 
and which his Highness, by the same token, 
took up like a shot." 

Her face, as she bethought herself, was con- 
vulsed as by some quick perception of what 
her informant must have done and what there- 
fore the Prince's interest rested on ; all, how- 
ever, to the effect, given their actual company, 
of her at once dodging and covering that 
issue. " The decision to remove the picture ? " 

Lord John also observed a discretion. "He 
wouldn't hear of such a thing says it must 
stay stock still. So there you are ! " 

This determined in Mr. Bender a not un- 
natural, in fact quite a clamorous, series of 
questions. " But where are we, and what has 
the Prince to do with Lord Theign's decision 



THE OUTCRY 287 

when that's all fm here for ? What in thunder 
is Lord Theign's decision what was his 
' extraordinary order ' ? " 

Lord John, too long detained and his hand 
now on the door, put off this solicitor as he 
had already been put off. " Lady Sandgate, 
you tell him ! I rush ! " 

Mr. Bender saw him vanish, but all to a 

greater bewilderment. "What the h then 

(I beg your pardon !) is he talking about, and 
what ' sentiments ' did he report round there 
that Lord Theign had been expressing ? " 

His hostess faced it not otherwise than if 
she had resolved not to recognise the subject 
of his curiosity for fear of other recognitions. 
" They put everything on me, my dear man 
but I haven't the least idea." 

He looked at her askance. "Then why 
does the fellow say you have ? " 

Much at a loss for the moment, she yet 
found her way. " Because the fellow's so agog 
that he doesn't know what he says!" In 
addition to which she was relieved by the 
reappearance of Gotch, who bore on a salver 
the object he had been sent for and to which 
he duly called attention. 



288 THE OUTCRY 

" The large red morocco case." 

Lady Sandgate fairly jumped at it. ''Your 
blessed cheque-book. Lay it on my desk," she 
said to Gotch, though waiting till he had 
departed again before she resumed to her 
visitor : " Mightn't we conclude before he 
comes ? " 

"The Prince?" Mr. Bender's imagination 
had strayed from the ground to which she 
sought to lead it back, and it but vaguely 
retraced its steps. " Will he want your great- 
grandmother ? " 

" Well, he may when he sees her ! " Lady 
Sandgate laughed. " And Theign, when he 
comes, will give you on his own question, I 
feel sure, every information. Shall I fish it 
out for you ? " she encouragingly asked, beside 
him by her secretary-desk, at which he had 
arrived under her persuasive guidance and 
where she sought solidly to establish him, 
opening out the gilded crimson case for his 
employ, so that he had but to help himself. 
"What enormous cheques! You can never 
draw one for two-pound-ten ! " 

" That's exactly what you deserve I should 
do!" He remained after this solemnly still, 



THE OUTCRY 289 

however, like some high-priest circled with 
ceremonies ; in consonance with which, the 
next moment, both her hands held out to him 
the open and immaculate page of the oblong 
series much as they might have presented a 
royal infant at the christening-font. 

He failed, in his preoccupation, to receive 
it ; so she placed it before him on the table, 
coming away with a brave gay " Well, I leave 
it to you ! " She had not, restlessly revolving, 
kept her discreet distance for many minutes 
before she found herself almost face to face 
with the recurrent Gotch, upright at the door 
with a fresh announcement. 

" Mr. Crimble, please for Lady Grace." 

"Mr. Crimble again?" she took it dis- 
composedly. 

It reached Mr. Bender at the secretary, but 
to a different effect. " Mr. Crimble? Why 
he's just the man I want to see ! " 

Gotch, turning to the lobby, had only to 
make way for him. " Here he is, my lady." 

"Then tell her ladyship." 

" She has come down," said Gotch while 
Hugh arrived and his companion withdrew, 

and while Lady Grace, reaching the scene 
19 



290 THE OUTCRY 

from the other quarter, emerged in bright 
equipment in her hat, scarf and gloves. 



IV 



THESE young persons were thus at once con- 
fronted across the room, and the girl explained 
her preparation. " I was listening hard for 
your knock and your voice." 

" Then know that, thank God, it's all right ! " 
Hugh was breathless, jubilant, radiant. 

" A Mantovano?" she delightedly cried. 

" A Mantovano ! " he proudly gave back. 

"A Mantovano!" it carried even Lady 
Sandgate away. 

"A Mantovano a sure thing?" Mr. 
Bender jumped up from his business, all 
gaping attention to Hugh. 

4 'I've just left our blest Bardi," said that 
young man "who hasn't the shadow of a 
doubt and is delighted to publish it every- 
where." 

" Will he publish it right here to me ? " Mr. 
Bender hungrily asked. 



THE OUTCRY 291 

" Well," Hugh smiled, "you can try him." 

"But try him how, where?" The great 
collector, straining to instant action, cast about 
for his hat. " Where is he, hey ? " 

"Don't you wish I'd tell you?" Hugh, in 
his personal elation, almost cynically answered. 

" Won't you wait for the Prince?" Lady 
Sandgate had meanwhile asked of her friend ; 
but had turned more inspectingly to Lady 
Grace before he could reply. " My dear child 
though you're lovely! are you sure you're 
ready for him ? " 

" For the Prince ! " the girl was vague. 
"Is he coming?" 

"At five-forty-five." With which she con- 
sulted her bracelet watch, but only at once to 
wail for alarm. "Ah, it is that, and I'm not 
dressed ! " She hurried off through the other 
room. 

Mr. Bender, quite accepting her retreat, 
addressed himself again unabashed to Hugh. 
"It's your blest Bardi I want first I'll take 
the Prince after." 

The young man clearly could afford indul- 
gence now. "Then I left him at Long's 
Hotel." 



292 THE OUTCRY 

"Why, right near! I'll come back." And 
Mr. Bender's flight was on the wings of 
optimism. 

But it all gave Hugh a quick question for 
Lady Grace. "Why does the Prince come, 
and what in the world's happening ? " 

" My father has suddenly returned it may 
have to do with that." 

The shadow of his surprise darkened visibly 
to that of his fear. " Mayn't it be more than 
anything else to give you and me his final 
curse ? " 

" I don't know and I think I don't care. I 
don't care," she said, "so long as you're right 

and as the greatest light of all declares you 

M 
are. 

" He is the greatest" Hugh was vividly of 
that opinion now : "I could see it as soon as 
I got there with him, the charming creature ! 
There, before the holy thing, and with the 
place, by good luck, for those great moments, 
practically to ourselves without Mackintosh to 
take in what was happening or any one else 
at all to speak of it was but a matter of ten 
minutes : he had come, he had seen, and / had 
conquered." 



THE OUTCRY 293 

"Naturally you had!" the girl hung on 
him for it; "and what was happening beyond 
everything else was that for your original dear 
divination, one of the divinations of genius 
with every creature all these ages so stupid 
you were being baptised on the spot a great 



man." 



"Well, he did let poor Pappendick have it 
at least he doesn't think hes one : that that 
eminent judge couldn't, even with such a leg 
up, rise to my level or seize my point. And if 
you really want to know," Hugh went on in 
his gladness, "what for us has most particularly 
and preciously taken place, it is that in his 
opinion, for my career " 

"Your reputation," she cried, "blazes out 
and your fortune's made ? " 

He did a happy violence to his modesty. 
" Well, Bardi adores intelligence and takes off 
his hat to me." 

" Then you need take off yours to nobody! " 
such was Lady Grace's proud opinion. 
" But I should like to take off mine to him" 
she added ; "which I seem to have put on 
to get out and away with you expressly for 
that." 



294 THE OUTCRY 

Hugh, as he looked her over, took it up in 
bliss. "Ah, we'll go forth together to him 
then thanks to your happy, splendid impulse ! 
and you'll back him gorgeously up in the 
good he thinks of me." 

His friend yet had on this a sombre second 
thought. " The only thing is that our awful 
American ! " 

But he warned her with a raised hand. 
4 ' Not to speak of our awful Briton ! " 

For the door had opened from the lobby, 
admitting Lord Theign, unattended, who, at 
sight of his daughter and her companion, pulled 
up and held them a minute in reprehensive 
view all at least till Hugh undauntedly, 
indeed quite cheerfully, greeted him. 

" Since you find me again in your path, my 
lord, it's because I've a small, but precious 
document to deliver you, if you'll allow me 
to do so ; which I feel it important myself to 
place in your hand." He drew from his breast 
a pocket-book and extracted thence a small 
unsealed envelope ; retaining the latter a trifle 
helplessly in his hand while Lord Theign only 
opposed to this demonstration an unmitigated 
blankness. He went none the less bravely on. 



THE OUTCRY 295 

" I mentioned to you the last time we somewhat 
infelicitously met that I intended to appeal to 
another and probably more closely qualified 
artistic authority on the subject of your so-called 
Moretto ; and I in fact saw the picture half an 
hour ago with Bardi of Milan, who, there in 
presence of it, did absolute, did ideal justice, as 
I had hoped, to the claim I've been making. 
I then went with him to his hotel, close at 
hand, where he dashed me off this brief and 
rapid, but quite conclusive, Declaration, which, 
if you'll be so good as to read it, will enable 
you perhaps to join us in regarding the vexed 
question as settled." 

His lordship, having faced this speech with- 
out a sign, rested on the speaker a somewhat 
more confessed intelligence, then looked hard 
at the offered note and hard at the floor all to 
avert himself actively afterward and, with his 
head a good deal elevated, add to his distance, 
as it were, from every one and everything so 
indelicately thrust on his attention. This 
movement had an ambiguous makeshift air, 
yet his companions, under the impression of it, 
exchanged a hopeless look. His daughter 
none the less lifted her voice. " If you won't 



296 THE OUTCRY 

take what he has for you from Mr. Crimble, 
father, will you take it from me ? " And then 
as after some apparent debate he appeared to 
decide to heed her, "It may be so long again," 
she said, " before you've a chance to do a thing 
I ask." 

"The chance will depend on yourself!" he 
returned with high dry emphasis. But he held 
out his hand for the note Hugh had given her 
and with which she approached him ; and 
though face to face they seemed more separated 
than brought near by this contact without 
commerce. She turned away on one side when 
he had taken the missive, as Hugh had turned 
away on the other ; Lord Theign drew forth 
the contents of the envelope and broodingly 
and inexpressively read the few lines ; after 
which, as having done justice to their sense, he 
thrust the paper forth again till his daughter 
became aware and received it. She restored 
it to her friend while her father dandled off 
anew, but coming round this time, almost as 
by a circuit of the room, and meeting Hugh, 
who took advantage of it to repeat by a frank 
gesture his offer of Bardi's attestation. Lord 
Theign passed with the young man on this a 



THE OUTCRY $97 

couple of mute minutes of the same order as 
those he had passed with Lady Grace In the 
same connection ; their eyes dealt deeply with 
their eyes but to the effect of his lordship's 
accepting the gift, which after another minute 
he had slipped into his breast-pocket. It was 
not till then that he brought out a curt but 
resonant " Thank you!" While the others 
awaited his further pleasure he again bethought 
himself then he addressed Lady Grace. " I 
must let Mr. Bender know " 

"Mr. Bender," Hugh interposed, "does know. 
He's at the present moment with the author of 
that note at Long's Hotel." 

"Then I must now write him" and his 
lordship, while he spoke and from where he 
stood, looked in refined disconnectedness out 
of the window. 

"Will you write there?" and his daughter 
indicated Lady Sandgate's desk, at which we 
have seen Mr. Bender so importantly seated. 

Lord Theign had a start at her again speak- 
ing to him ; but he bent his view on the con- 
venience awaiting him and then, as to have 
done with so tiresome a matter, took advantage 
of it. He went and placed himself, and had 



298 THE OUTCRY 

reached for paper and a pen when, struck 
apparently with the display of some incongruous 
object, he uttered a sharp " Hallo ! " 

" You don't find things ? " Lady Grace asked 
as remote from him in one quarter of the 
room as Hugh was in another. 

' 'On the contrary !" he oddly replied. But 
plainly suppressing any further surprise he 
committed a few words to paper and put them 
into an envelope, which he addressed and 
brought away. 

" If you like," said Hugh urbanely, " I'll carry 
him that myself." 

" But how do you know what it consists of ? " 

" I don't know. But I risk it." 

His lordship weighed the proposition in a 
high impersonal manner he even nervously 
weighed his letter, shaking it with one hand 
upon the finger-tips of the other ; after which, 
as finally to acquit himself of any measureable 
obligation, he allowed Hugh, by a surrender 
of the interesting object, to redeem his offer of 
service. " Then you'll learn," he simply said. 

" And may / learn ? " asked Lady Grace. 

"You?" The tone made so light of her 
that it was barely interrogative. 



THE OUTCRY 299 

"May I go with him?" 

Her father looked at the question as at some 
cup of supreme bitterness a nasty and now 
quite regular dose with which his lips were 
familiar, but before which their first movement 
was always tightly to close. " With me, my 
lord," said Hugh at last, thoroughly determined 
they should open and intensifying the emphasis. 

He had his effect, and Lord Theign's answer, 
addressed to Lady Grace, made indifference 
very comprehensive. " You may do what ever 
you dreadfully like ! " 

At this then the girl, with an air that seemed 
to present her choice as absolutely taken, 
reached the door which Hugh had come across 
to open for her. Here she paused as for 
another, a last look at her father, and her 
expression seemed to say to him unaidedly 
that, much as she would have preferred to 
proceed to her act without this gross disorder, 
she could yet find inspiration too in the very 
difficulty and the old faiths themselves that 
he left her to struggle with. All this made 
for depth and beauty in her serious young face 
as it had indeed a force that, not indis- 
tinguishably, after an instant, his lordship lost 



300 THE OUTCRY 

any wish for longer exposure to. His shift of 
his attitude before she went out was fairly an 
evasion ; if the extent of the levity of one of 
his daughters made him afraid, what might 
have been his present strange sense but a fear 
of the other from the extent of her gravity ? 
Lady Grace passes from us at any rate in her 
laced and pearled and plumed slimness and 
her pale concentration leaving her friend a 
moment, however, with his hand on the door. 

" You thanked me just now for Bardi's 
opinion after all," Hugh said with a smile ; 
" and it seems to me that after all as well 
I've grounds for thanking you." On which he 
left his benefactor alone. 

"Tit for tat!" There broke from Lord 
Theign, in his solitude, with the young man 
out of earshot, that vague ironic comment ; 
which only served his turn, none the less, till, 
bethinking himself, he had gone back to the 
piece of furniture used for his late scribble and 
come away from it again the next minute 
delicately holding a fair slip that we naturally 
recognise as Mr. Bender's forgotten cheque. 
This apparently surprising value he now 
studied at his ease and to the point of its even 



THE OUTCRY 301 

drawing from him an articulate "What in 
damnation ?" His speculation dropped 
before the return of his hostess, whose 
approach through the other room fell upon 
his ear and whom he awaited after a quick 
thrust of the cheque into his waistcoat. 

Lady Sandgate appeared now in due that is 
in the most happily adjusted splendour; she 
had changed her dress for something smarter 
and more appropriate to the entertainment of 
Princes. " Tea will be downstairs," she said. 
" But you're alone ? " 

" I've just parted," her friend replied, " with 
Grace and Mr. Crimble." 

" ' Parted ' with them ? " the ambiguity 
struck her. 

" Well, they've gone out together to flaunt 
their monstrous connection ! " 

"You speak," she laughed, " as if it were 
too gross ! They're surely coming back ? " 

" Back to you, if you like but not to 



me." 



" Ah, what are you and I," she tenderly 
argued, " but one and the same quantity ? And 
though you may not as yet absolutely re- 
joice in well, whatever they're doing," she 



302 THE OUTCRY 

cheerfully added, " you'll get beautifully used 



to it." 



"That's just what I'm afraid of what such 
horrid matters make of one ! " 

"At the worst then, you see" she main- 
tained her optimism "the recipient of royal 
attentions ! " 

"Oh," said her companion, whom his honour 
seemed to leave comparatively cold, " it's 
simply as if the gracious Personage were coming 
to condole ! " 

Impatient of the lapse of time, in any case, 
she assured herself again of the hour. " Well, 
if he only does come ! " 

" John the wretch ! " Lord Theign returned 
"will take care of that: he has nailed him 
and will bring him." 

"What was it then," his friend found occa- 
sion in the particular tone of this reference to 
demand, "what was it that, when you sent 
him off, John spoke of you in Bond Street as 
specifically intending ? " 

Oh he saw it now all lucidly if not rather 
luridly and thereby the more tragically. "He 
described me in his nasty rage as consistently 
well, heroic ! " 



THE OUTCRY 303 

" His rage " she pieced it sympathetically 
out " at your destroying his cherished credit 
with Bender ? " 

Lord Theign was more and more possessed 
of this view of the manner of it. "I had 
come between him and some profit that he 
doesn't confess to, but that made him vici- 
ously and vindictively serve me up there, as 
he caught the chance, to the Prince and the 
People ! " 

She cast about, in her intimate interest, as 
for some closer conception of it. " By saying 
that you had remarked here that you offered 
the People the picture ? 

"As a sacrifice yes! to morbid, though 
respectable scruples." To which he sharply 
added, as if struck with her easy grasp of the 
scene: "But I hope you've nothing to call a 
memory for any such extravagance ? " 

Lady Sandgate waited then boldly took 
her line. " None whatever ! You had reacted 
against Bender but you hadn't gone so far 
as that ! " 

He had it now all vividly before him. " I 
had reacted like a gentleman ; but it didn't 
thereby follow that I acted or spoke like a 



30 4 THE OUTCRY 

demagogue ; and my mind's a complete blank 
on the subject of my having done so." 

" So that there only flushes through your 
conscience," she suggested, "the fact that he 
has forced your hand ? " 

Fevered with the sore sense of it his lordship 
wiped his brow. "He has played me, for 
spite, his damned impertinent trick!" 

She found but after a minute for it wasn't 
easy the right word, or the least wrong, for 
the situation. " Well, even if he did so 
diabolically commit you, you still don't want 
do you ? to back out." 

Resenting the suggestion, which restored all 
his nobler form, Lord Theign fairly drew himself 
up. " When did I ever in all my life back out ? " 

" Never, never in all your life of course ! " 
she dashed a bucketful at the flare. "And the 
picture after all ! " 

" The picture after all " he took her up in 
cold grim gallant despair "has just been 
pronounced definitely priceless." And then 
to meet her gaping ignorance : "By Mr. 
Crimble's latest and apparently greatest adviser, 
who strongly stamps it a Mantovano and 
whose practical affidavit I now possess." 



THE OUTCRY 305 

Poor Lady Sandgate gaped but the more 
she wondered and yearned. "Definitely 
priceless ? " 

" Definitely priceless." After which he took 
from its place of lurking, considerately unfold- 
ing it, the goodly slip he had removed from her 
blotting-book. "Worth even more therefore 
than what Bender so blatantly offers." 

Her attention fell with interest, from the 
distance at which she stood, on this confirma- 
tory document, her recognition of which was not 
immediate. " And is that the affidavit ? " 

" This is a cheque to your order, my lady, 
for ten thousand pounds." 

" Ten thousand ? " she echoed it with a 
shout. 

" Drawn by some hand unknown," he went 
on quietly. 

" Unknown ? " again, in her muffled joy, 
she let it sound out. 

"Which I found there at your desk a 
moment ago, and thought best, in your interest, 
to rescue from accident or neglect ; even 
though it be, save for the single stroke of a 
name begun," he wound up with his look like 
a playing searchlight, " unhappily unsigned." 



20 



306 THE OUTCRY 

" Unsigned ? " the exhibition of her design, 
of her defeat, kept shaking her. "Then it 
isn't good ? " 

" It's a Barmecide feast, my dear! " he had 
still, her kind friend, his note of grimness and 
also his penetration of eye. ' But who is it 
writes you colossal cheques ? " 

" And then leaves them lying about ? " Her 
case was so bad that you would have seen how 
she felt she must do something something 
quite splendid. She recovered herself, she 
faced the situation with all her bright bravery 
of expression and aspect ; conscious, you 
might have guessed, that she had never more 
strikingly embodied, on such lines, the elegant, 
the beautiful and the true. "Why, who can it 
have been but poor Breckenridge too ? " 

" ' Breckenridge ' ? " Lord Theign had his 
smart echoes. "What in the world does he 
owe you money for ? " 

It took her but an instant more she per- 
formed the great repudiation quite as she 
might be prepared to sweep, in the Presence 
impending, her grandest curtsey. "Not, you 
sweet suspicious thing, for my great-grand- 
mother ! " And then as his glare didn't fade : 



THE OUTCRY 307 

" Bender makes my life a burden for the love 
of my precious Lawrence." 

" Which you're weakly letting him grab ? " 
nothing could have been finer with this than 
Lord Theign's reprobation unless it had been 
his surprise. 

She shook her head as in bland compassion 
for such an idea. "It isn't a payment, you 
goose it's a bribe! I've withstood him, these 
trying weeks, as a rock the tempest ; but he 
wrote that and left it there, the fiend, to tempt 
me to corrupt me ! " 

4 'Without putting his name?" her com- 
panion again turned over the cheque. 

She bethought herself, clearly with all her 
genius, as to this anomaly, and the light of 
reality broke. "He must have been inter- 
rupted in the artful act he sprang up with 
such a bound at Mr. Crimble's news. At once 
then for his interest in it he hurried off, 
leaving the cheque forgotten and unfinished." 
She smiled more intensely, her eyes attached, 
as from fascination, to the morsel of paper still 
handled by her friend. " But of course on his 
next visit he'll add his great signature." 

"The devil he will!" and Lord Theign, 



308 THE OUTCRY 

with the highest spirit, tore the crisp token 
into several pieces, which fluttered, as worth- 
less now as pure snowflakes, to the floor. 

"Ay, ay, ay!" it drew from her a wail of 
which the character, for its sharp inconsequence, 
was yet comic. 

This renewed his stare at her. " Do you 
want to back out? I mean from your noble 
stand." 

As quickly, however, she had saved herself. 
"I'd rather do even what you're doing offer 
my treasure to the Thingumbob ! " 

He was touched by this even to sympathy. 
* ' Will you then join me in setting the example 
of a great donation ? " 

"To the What-do-you-call-it ? " she ex- 
travagantly smiled. 

"I call it," he said with dignity, "the 
4 National Gallery.'" 

She closed her eyes as with a failure of 
breath. " Ah my dear friend ! " 

"It would convince me," he went on, 
insistent and persuasive. 

"Of the sincerity of my affection?" she 
drew nearer to him. 

"It would comfort me" he was satisfied 



THE OUTCRY 309 

with his own expression. Yet in a moment, 
when she had come all rustlingly and fragrantly 
close, "It would captivate me," he handsomely 
added. 

" It would captivate you ? " It was for her, 
we should have seen, to be satisfied with 
his expression ; and, with our more informed 
observation of all it was a question of her 
giving up, she would have struck us as subtly 
bargaining. 

He gallantly amplified. "It would peculiarly 
by which I mean it would so naturally 
unite us ! " 

Well, that was all she wanted. " Then for 
a complete union with you of fact as well as 
of fond fancy ! " she smiled " there's nothing, 
even to my one ewe lamb, I'm not ready to 
surrender." 

"Ah, we don't surrender," he urged "we 
enjoy ! " 

"Yes," she understood: "with the glory of 
our grand gift thrown in." 

"We quite swagger," he gravely observed 
" though even swaggering would after this be 
dull without you." 

" Oh, I'll swagger with you ! " she cried as if 



3 io THE OUTCRY 

it quite settled and made up for everything; 
and then impatiently, as she beheld Lord John, 
whom the door had burst open to admit : 
-The Prince?" 

" The Prince ! " the young man launched it 
as a call to arms. 

They had fallen apart on the irruption, the, 
pair discovered, but she flashed straight at her 
lover : " Then we can swagger now ! " 

Lord Theign had reached the open door. 
41 1 meet him below." 

Demurring, debating, however, she stayed 
him a moment. " But oughtn't / in my own 
house?" 

His lordship caught her meaning. "You 
mean he may think ?" But he as easily 
pronounced. " He shall think the Truth!'' 
And with a kiss of his hand to her he was 
gone. 

Lord John, who had gazed in some 
wonder at these demonstrations, was quickly 
about to follow, but she checked him with 
an authority she had never before used and 
which was clearly the next moment to prove 
irresistible. " Lord John, be so good as to 
stop." Looking about at the condition of a 



THE OUTCRY 311 

room on the point of receiving so august a 
character, she observed on the floor the 
fragments of the torn cheque, to which she 
sharply pointed. " And please pick up that 
litter!" 



THE END 



EDINBURGH 

COLSTONS LIMITED 

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THE DOLLY DIALOGUES. 

Hornung (E. W.). DEAD MEN TELL 

NO J-ALl^S. 



Ingraham (J. H.). THE THRONE OF 

Le Queux (W.). THE HUNCHBACK 

OF WESTMINSTER. 
THE CROOKED WAY. 
*THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW. 

Levett- Yeats (S. K.). THE TRAITOR'S 
\v AY* 

ORRAIN. 

Linton (E. Lynn). THE TRUE HIS- 
TORY OF JOSHUA DAVIDSON. 

Lyall (Edna). DERRICK VAUGHAN. 

Malet (Lucas). THE CARISSIMA. 
A COUNSEL OF PERFECTION. 

Mann (Mrs. M. E.). MRS. PETER 

HOWARD. 
A LOST ESTATE. 
THE CEDAR STAR. 
ONE ANOTHER'S BURDENS. 
THE PATTEN EXPERIMENT. 
A WINTER'S TALE. 

Marchmont (A. W.). MISER HOAD- 

LEY'S SECRET. 
A MOMENT'S ERROR. 

Marryat (Captain). PETER SIMPLE. 
JACOB FAITHFUL. 

March (Richard). A METAMORPHOSIS. 
THE TWICKENHAM PEERAGE. 
THE GODDESS. 
THE JOSS. 






FICTION 



Mason (A. E. W.). CLEMENTINA. 

. Mathers (Helen). HONEY. 
GRIFF OF GRIFFITHSCOURT. 
SAM'S SWEETHEART. 
THE FERRYMAN. 

Meade (Mrs. L. T.). DRIFT. 
Miller (Esther), LIVING LIES. 

Mitford (Bertram). THE SIGN OF THE 
SPIDER. 

Montresor (F. F.). THE ALIEN. 

Morrison (Arthur). THE HOLE IN 
THE WALL. 

Nesblt (E.). THE RED HOUSE. 

Norrls (W. E.). HIS GRACE. 

GILES INGILBY. 

THE CREDIT OF THE COUNTY. 

LORD LEONARD THE LUCKLESS. 

MATTHEW AUSTEN. 

CLARISSA FURIOSA. 

Oliphant (Mrs.). THE LADY'S WALK 

SIR ROBERT'S FORTUNE. 

THE PRODIGALS. 

THE TWO MARYS. 

Oppenheim (E. P.). MASTER OF MEN. 

Parker (Gilbert). THE POMP OF THE 

LAVILETTES. 

WHEN VALMOND CAME TO PONTIAC. 
THE TRAIL OF THE SWORD. 

Pemberton (Max). THE FOOTSTEPS 
OF A THRONE. 

I CROWN THEE KING. 

Phillpotts (Eden). THE HUMAN BOY. 
CHILDREN OF THE MIST. 
THE POACHER'S WIFE. 
THE RIVER. 



*Q' (A. T. Quiller Couch). 

WHITE WOLF. 



29 

THE 



Ridge (W. Pett). A SON OF THE STATE. 

LOST PROPERTY. 

GEORGE and THE GENERAL. 

A BREAKER OF LAWS. 

ERB. 

Russell (W. Clark). ABANDONED. 
A MARRIAGE AT SEA. 
MY DANISH SWEETHEART. 
HIS ISLAND PRINCESS. 

Sergeant (Adeline). THE MASTER OF 
BEECHWOOD. 

BALBARA'S MONEY. 
THE YELLOW DIAMOND. 
THE LOVE THAT OVERCAME. 

Sidgwick (Mrs. Alfred). THE KINS- 
MAN. 

Surtees (R. S.J. HANDLEY CROSS. 
MR. SPONGE'S SPORTING TOUR. 
ASK MAMMA. 

Walford (Mrs. L. B.). MR. SMITH. 

COUSINS. 

THE BABY'S GRANDMOTHER. 

TROUBLESOME DAUGHTERS. 

Wallace (General Lew). BEN-HUR. 
THE FAIR GOD. 

Watson (H. B. Marriott). THE ADVEN- 

TURERS. 
CAPTAIN FORTUNE. 

Weekes (A. B.). PRISONERS OF WAR. 
Wells (H. G.). THE SEA LADY. 

Whitby (Beatrice). THE RESULT OF 
AN ACCIDENT. 

White (Percy). A PASSIONATE PIL- 
GRIM. 

.nif uJTT'.v^ ia.'mttuKi uxwnOMutl 

Williamson (Mrs. C. N.). PAPA. 
.ooT 10 aoott T 10 *-. 

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